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Market slumps under economic blues at midday

SHANGHAI'S key stock index dropped to below 2,100 points in the morning trading with the finance sector dropping and still no obvious signs of economic recovery.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.85 percent, or 39.64 points, to close at 2,099.38 points. Turnover was 32.9 billion yuan (US$4.8 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 765 to 102 and 41 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, dropped 1.98 percent to close at 681.95 points.

Oil producer were among the losers as crude oil for April delivery fell US$3.38, or 7.4 percent, to US$42.33 a barrel in New York yesterday with consumption dropped. PetroChina, the biggest component index, was down 1.50 percent to 10.53 yuan. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner, lost 2.07 percent to 8.04 yuan.

Cement manufacturers were among the losers. Huaxin Cement Co Ltd sank 7.23 percent to 21.95 yuan. Tangshan Jidong Cement Co Ltd was down 1.95 percent to 14.10 yuan. Ningxia Saima Industry Co Ltd tumbled 6.15 percent to 25.50 yuan.

China Construction Bank lowered 1.47 percent to 4.03 yuan. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, was down 1.35 percent to 3.65 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank buckled 3.17 percent to 18.00 yuan.

China Cosco Holdings Co, the world's largest operator of dry-bulk ships, retreated 4.09 percent to 10.09 yuan. China Shipping Development Co, the unit of China's biggest shipping group, lost 4.13 percent to 9.98 yuan. China CSSC Holdings Ltd dropped 3.11 percent to 48.28 yuan.

China Southern Airlines Co, the nation's biggest carrier by fleet size said its 2008 net income will be
affected by impairment losses on the value of aircraft. Its share price however rose 1.36 percent to 4.46 yuan. China Eastern Airlines Corp, the nation's third-largest carrier by fleet size, buckled 3.21 percent to 4.53 yuan.

China Railway Construction Corp said its units have won four contracts worth a total of 28 billion yuan in a filing today to Shanghai's stock exchange. The stock lost 1.18 percent to 9.23 yuan.


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