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Market retains optimistic outlook

SHANGHAI'S key stock index closed higher today with the market still optimistic about the economy.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.54 percent, or 13.48 points, to close at 2,527.18 points. Turnover was 161.9 billion yuan (US$23.7 billion). Gainers outnumbered losers 569 to 278 and 61 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, rose 1.75 percent to close at 850.56 points.

Car makers were among the gainers on speculation the government would announce new measures to aid car purchases. SAIC Motor Co, China's largest car maker, hiked 8.41 percent to 10.57 yuan. Beiqi Foton Motor Co, China's biggest commercial-vehicle maker, surged the 10 percent daily limit to 11.09 yuan. FAW Car Co Ltd rose 5.04 percent to 12.93 yuan.

A stimulus package for the electronic information industry boosted shares. Anhui Sun-Create Electronics Co Ltd surged 8.56 percent to 25.50 yuan. Greatwall Information Industry Co Ltd hiked 8.57 percent to 8.36 yuan. Shandong Langchao Cheeloosoft Co Ltd surged the daily limit of 10 percent to end at 12.23 yuan.

China's power output in March fell about 2 percent from a year earlier as the world's third-biggest economy slowed, an official from the China Electricity Council said, citing preliminary data compiled by the industry group.

Huaneng Power International Inc, the listed unit of China's largest power group, was down 1.01 percent to 7.85 yuan after output fell last month. Huadian Power International Co Ltd lost 1.01 percent to 4.89 yuan. Datang International Power Generation Co, a unit of China's second-biggest electricity producer, dipped 0.66 percent to 7.49 yuan.
Cosco Shipping Co, a unit of China's biggest shipbuilding company, said first-quarter profit dropped more than 50 percent, citing the decline in shipping traffic and rates because of the international financial crisis. Its shares were down 1.54 percent to 11.52 yuan.

Sichuan Changhong Electric Co, China's second-biggest television maker said profit may decline more than 50 percent in 2008 because operations were hurt by the Sichuan earthquake in May. Its shares edged up 0.65 percent to 4.62 yuan.


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