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Market edges up to close at 3,321

SHANGHAI'S stock market closed higher today, lifted by natural gas producers and metal companies.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.53 percent, or 17.38 points, to close at 3,320.61 points. Turnover was 194.7 billion yuan (US$28.5 billion). Gainers outnumbered losers 684 to 185, and 43 shares remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, added 1.20 percent to close at 1,202.70 points.

The energy sector powered up the market as cold weather boosted fuel and coal demand amid speculation there will be a price rise in natural gas. Changchun Gas Co Ltd surged by the daily limit of 10 percent to 9.63 yuan. Shanxi Provincial Natural Gas Co also rallied 10 percent to 24.02 yuan. Tianyuan Coal Gasification Co Ltd advanced 3.79 percent to 24.90 yuan.

Huaneng Power International Inc said it won government approval to build a 600-megawatt power generating unit at its Yueyang Power Plant, which will cost 2.5 billion yuan. Its shares rose 1.79 percent to 8.53 yuan.

"The index will keep the upward trend in the next few days with rich fluidity in the market and an improving macroeconomic situation," Guoyuan Securities wrote in a research report.

Property developers rebounded from earlier losses. Shanghai Lujiazui Finance & Trade Zone Development Co Ltd edged up 0.53 percent to 28.52 yuan. Shanghai Wai Gaoqiao Free Trade Zone Development Co Ltd was up 0.48 percent to 18.87 yuan. China Vanke Co, the biggest listed domestic real estate developer, rose 1.07 percent to 12.27 yuan.

Metal producers were also among the gainers. Zijin Mining Co rose 1.73 percent to 10.02 yuan. Shandong Gold Mining Co added 1.50 percent to 75.06 yuan. Zhongjin Gold Co was up 1.64 percent to 61.33 yuan.


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