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Liquidity and optimism boost share market at midday

SHANGHAI'S key stock index closed higher in the morning session with liquidity in the market and optimism over economic recovery after the announcement of positive measures for specific sectors this week.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1.57 percent, or 35.37 points, to close at 2,283.46 points as of 11:30am. Turnover was 83.1 billion yuan (US$12.1 billion). Gainers outnumbered losers 612 to 234 and 57 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 1.48 percent, or 10.70 points, to close at 722.82 points.

Banks recovered from yesterday's losses. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, added 1.03 percent to 3.93 yuan. China Construction Bank was up 0.46 percent to 4.33 yuan. Bank of China rose 2.14 percent to 3.34 yuan. Bank of Communications edged up 0.34 percent to 5.91 yuan.

Aluminum Corp of China has agreed to invest a further US$19.5 billion in Rio Tinto. Its subsidiary Aluminum Corp of China, or Chinalco, surged 7.05 percent to 11.23 yuan.

Real estate developers were also strong. China Vanke Co, the nation's biggest listed property developer, added 1.35 percent to 8.23 yuan. China Merchants Property Development Co Ltd advanced 3.49 percent to 17.77 yuan. Poly Real Estate Group was up 1.35 percent to 18.79 yuan.

China Cosco Holdings Co Ltd was down 1.13 percent to 11.40 yuan after the Baltic Dry Index dropped for the first time in 19 days. China CSSC Holdings Ltd lost 1.50 percent.

China Railway Group Ltd, the nation's largest construction company by total assets secured a 23 billion yuan in railway and highway contracts. Its shares advanced 5.55 percent to 5.90 yuan.

Fushun Special Steel Co said its profit for 2008 climbed 46 percent from a year earlier to 34.7 million yuan. The stock added 1.00 percent to 5.06 yuan.

Zhongtian Urban Development Group Co said its profit reached 191 million yuan in 2008, 58 percent up from the previous period. Its shares hiked 5.69 percent to 8.55 yuan.


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