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Metal prices dampen index

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended lower yesterday after metal prices fell.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.62 percent, or 15.36 points, to close at 2,448.59. Turnover shrank to 108.71 billion yuan, compared with 113.29 billion yuan on Thursday.

During the week, the index lost 2.21 percent, the first weekly loss in six weeks. "Several sectors across the market are overvalued after unreasonable rallies in previous days," said Wan Bing, a GF Securities Co analyst.

Jiangxi Copper Co, China's biggest producer of the metal, tumbled 4.17 percent to 23.42 yuan. Western Mining Co plunged 3.48 percent to 13.33 yuan. Chengde Xinxin Vanadium and Titanium Co slid 3.02 percent to 7.71 yuan. Copper futures for July delivery were down 9.4 percent this week, the biggest four-day slide since December 5.

Lenders were weak in yesterday's trading. China Merchants Bank Co retreated 2.05 percent to 15.27 yuan. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China eased 1.23 percent to 4.02 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co fell 1.38 percent to 21.37 yuan.

Sluggish performances from the heavyweights also contributed to the loss. PetroChina, the index's biggest component, inched down 0.09 percent to 11.58. China Petroleum and Chemical Corp shed 0.72 percent to 9.61 yuan.

Bucking the downward trend, gold producers soared as the price of bullion rose above US$900 an ounce. Zhongjin Gold Corp jumped 7.37 percent to 59.61 yuan. Shandong Gold Mining Co advanced 5.62 percent to 78.13 yuan and Zijin Mining Group added 1.37 percent to 9.63 yuan.

"As there is limited space for a rebound or tumbles in the short term without strong favorable news or bad news, it is highly probable the stock markets will keep fluctuating," Orient Securities Co said.


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