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October 13, 2009

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Mixed performance sends key share index to finish lower

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended slightly lower yesterday after experiencing wild swings as sluggish commodity producers overshadowed gains by lenders.
Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, lost 1.6 percent. Its locked-up shares worth 673 billion yuan (US$99 billion) became tradable yesterday.
The Shanghai Composite Index gave up 0.59 percent to 2,894.48, after reaching a high of 2,932.08 earlier in the day. Turnover rose to 99.9 billion yuan from last Friday's 93.2 billion yuan.
"Too much output and high inventories together with low prices are increasing pressure on producers," said Qin Bo, a Guosen Securities analyst.
Baoshan Iron & Steel Co, the country's largest steel maker, fell 1.3 percent to 6.65 yuan after it cut steel prices for November by as much as 13 percent. Handan Iron & Steel Co slid 2 percent to 4.79 yuan.
Other commodity producers also declined on fears of overcapacity. Aluminum Corp of China Ltd slumped 3.9 percent to 13.5 yuan and Jiangxi Copper Co shed 2 percent to 36.83 yuan. Sinopec fell 1.6 percent to 11.6 yuan.
Lenders had a mixed performance after China Investment Corp, a sovereign wealth fund, promised to raise stakes in the country's biggest banks. The Bank of China dipped 0.3 percent to 3.99 yuan. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest listed lender, added 0.4 percent to 4.96 yuan.
State-owned Central Huijin Investment Co, an arm of CIC, has bought about 263 million yuan A shares in the country's three biggest listed state-owned banks, the lenders said over the weekend in filings to the stock exchange.
Huijin said it will continue to buy shares in the open market over the next 12 months, according to the filings.
ICBC will unlock its 1.17 trillion yuan worth of non-tradable shares held by the finance ministry and Huijin by October 20.


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