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Metals and finance add steel to market

SHANGHAI'S key stock index continued yesterday's gains and closed above 2,400 points with strong performances from the finance sector and metal producers.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was up 1.47 percent, or 34.80 points, to close at 2.408.02 points. Turnover was 166.5 billion yuan (US$24.3 billion). Gainers outnumbered losers 675 to 183 and 50 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, added 1.87 percent to close at 798.74 points.

"The index was not affected by the speculation that there maybe more initial public offerings in the near future and was quite strong after the announcement of the Growth Enterprise Market, which suggests a positive outlook on the economy in the coming days," said a research note by Shenyin & Wanguo Securities.

China Unicom Ltd, China's second-biggest mobile-phone company, posted a 58 percent increase in full-year profit. Its parent company China United Telecommunications Co dipped 0.69 percent to 5.73 yuan.

Coal producers were among the gainers among speculation the National Development and Reform Commission would lift the price of coal in the near future. Hebei Jinniu Energy Resources Co Ltd hiked 7.55 percent to 22.65 yuan. Shanxi Xishan Coal and Electricity Power Co Ltd jumped 9.21 percent to 18.15 yuan.

Companies connected to the Growth Enterprise Market remained strong. Beijing CCID Media Investment Co Ltd hiked 9.92 percent to 5.54 yuan. Shanghai Zi Jiang Enterprise Group Co Ltd surged 9.91 percent to 5.10 yuan.

Zijin Mining, China's biggest gold producer, added 1.10 percent to 10.99 yuan. Jiangxi Copper, China's biggest producer of the metal, advanced 2.55 percent to 23.69 yuan. Copper rose 4.4 percent in New York yesterday. The metal has gained 31 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

Banks showed mixed results. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank dipped 0.50 percent to 21.81 yuan. China Construction Bank edged up 0.47 percent to 4.32 yuan. China Merchants Bank Co added 1.63 percent to 16.19 yuan.


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