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Market loses 9% in January

SHANGHAI'S market closed lower on the last trading day of the week as heavyweights and banking sector fell amid concerns over tighter liquidity.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.16 percent, or 4.85 points, to close at 2,989.29 points. Turnover was 95.7 billion yuan (US$14 billion ). Gainers outnumbered losers 494 to 351, and 69 shares remained unchanged. The gauge has lost 8.78 percent this month.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, edged up 0.6 percent to close at 1,120.45 points.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner also known as Sinopec, dropped 0.78 percent to 11.42 yuan. PetroChina lost 0.3 percent to 13.08 yuan.

Banks remained flat amid concern over tighter mortgage lending policies concern after banking regulators reiterated calls for reasonable control of lending growth.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, was down 0.21 percent at 4.85 yuan. Bank of China dipped 0.24 percent to 4.10 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank shed 0.41 percent to 19.62 yuan.

Consumer sectors bucked the downward trend after vice premier Li Keqiang reiterated efforts to help farmers boost their spending power through tax cuts and subsidies in a speech at the World Economic Forum. He added that the government's goal is to strike a balance between promotion of steady and fast growth and proper management of inflation risks.

Shanghai Join Buy Co Ltd surged 4.16 percent to 11.01 yuan. Shanghai Friendship Group Corp was up 0.58 percent at 19.00 yuan. Shanghai Bailian Group Co increased 2.4 percent to 18.34 yuan. TCL Corp jumped 2.26 percent to 5.42 yuan.

Brokerages showed mixed results. Everbright Securities dipped 0.04 percent to 26.05 yuan. Haitong Securities was up 1.07 percent to 16.99 yuan. The Pacific Securities Co Ltd lowered 0.72 percent to 16.55 yuan.

Huaneng Power International Inc, the biggest listed electricity producer, said in a preliminary statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange that it may return to profit in 2009. The stock rose 0.96 percent to 7.36 yuan.


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