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Market hovers as shares adjust

SHANGHAI'S key stock index lowered on the last trading day of the week after three days of gains with most shares remaining in adjustment.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.23 percent, or 5.51 points, to close at 2,419.78 points. Turnover was 157.2 billion yuan (US$23 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 646 to 218 and 44 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was down 0.50 percent to close at 801.06 points.

"Banks and most of the blue chips are still strong after three day's gain and that is maybe a signal for a further rebound for the index," a research note by Donghai Securities said.

New loans issued in March may reach 1.3 trillion yuan, up from the 1.07 trillion yuan issued in February, according to a report by Shanghai Securities News, citing people familiar with the issue.

Banks and financial shares continued to rise. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, advanced 2.01 percent to 4.07 yuan. China Construction Bank rose 2.51 percent to 4.50 yuan. Bank of China edged up 1.70 percent to 3.58 yuan.

Anhui Conch Cement Co, the country's biggest cement maker said its board has approved plans to issue up to 9.5 billion yuan of bonds to repay bank loans and replenish capital. Its shares lowered 1.82 percent to 35.13 yuan.

Gold producers were among the losers after gold futures on New York market dropped on Thursday. Zhongjin Gold Co tumbled 5.46 percent to 55.91 yuan. Shangdong Gold Mining CO dropped 5.70 percent to 74.93 yuan. Metal producers were also weak. Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd, the country's biggest producer of the metal, lost 3.99 percent to close at 22.86 yuan. Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd tumbled 4.34 percent to 10.36 yuan.

Beijing Sanyuan Foods Co said in a statement it does not have any immediate plans to buy more assets of the bankrupt Sanlu Group Co. Its shares dropped 2.52 percent to 7.73 yuan.

Shanghai International Port (Group) Co, the operator of China's busiest harbor, said its profit for 2008 soared 27 percent to 4.62 billion yuan as higher exports fueled container traffic. The shares buckled 3.94 percent to 5.85 yuan.


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