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Market rises spurred by banks and energy shares

SHANGHAI'S key stock index climbed in the morning session, led by banks and energy shares after their financial reports spurred investor optimism.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was up 1.05 percent, or 25.11 points, to close at 2,426.55 points.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, added 1.05 percent, or 8.36 points, to close at 806.67 points at 11:30am.

Banks and energy producers pushed the Shanghai index higher in the morning trading, snapping a four-day losing streak amid fears that the spreading swine flu in the United States and Mexico may hammer a world economy already mired in the global financial downturn.

Bank of Communications Ltd, part-owned by HSBC Holdings Plc, added 3.20 percent to 6.45 yuan (94 US cents) after first-quarter earnings were little changed at 7.94 billion yuan as the economy's expansion slowed.

Bank of Ningbo Co, part-owned by Singapore's Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, added 2.17 percent to 9.40 yuan after it posted a 4.8 percent gain in first-quarter profit.

China Shenhua Energy Co advanced 2.33 percent to 24.56 yuan. The increase came after Shenhua, the nation's largest coal producer, reported that its first-quarter profit increased 17 percent to 7.94 billion yuan as it lifted output to benefit from higher prices and improved domestic and overseas demands.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, also known as Sinopec, edged up 0.21 percent to 9.46 yuan. The company, Asia's biggest oil refiner, said net income jumped 85 percent to 11.2 billion yuan from a year earlier after the government eased fuel price controls and crude oil decreased. The company said first-half profit may jump more than 50 percent.

But copper producers fell in the morning session after copper lost 3.5 percent in New York yesterday. Jiangxi Copper dropped 0.30 percent to 22.91 yuan. Yunnan Copper Co fell 2.68 percent to 18.91 yuan.


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