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Official figures help boost market at midday

SHANGHAI'S key stock index closed higher in the morning trade with strong performances by heavyweights after major economic statistics for April fell within expectations.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.86 percent, or 22.66 points, to close at 2,648.30 points. Turnover was 99.2 billion yuan (US$14.5 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 611 to 237 and 60 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, dipped 0.51 percent to close at 875.42 points.

China's Consumer Price Index for April was down 1.5 percent from the same period last year, compared with 1.2 percent in March, the National Bureau of Statistics said in the morning. The Producer Price Index, the measure of inflation at the wholesale level, fell 6.6 percent year on year, compared with a 6 percent drop in March and a 4.6 percent fall in the first quarter.

PetroChina, the biggest component index, advanced 2.98 percent to 12.78 yuan. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner also known as Sinopec, rose 2.97 percent to 10.75 yuan.

Banks were also among the gainers. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, added 1.38 percent to 4.42 yuan. Bank of China was up 2.20 percent to 3.72 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank surged 4.11 percent to 25.84 yuan.

Haitong Securities hiked 5.21 percent to 13.73 yuan. Sinolink Securities rose 1.98 percent to 39.21 yuan.

Pharmaceutical shares were among the losers after several days' gaining with investors taking profits. Shanghai Industrial Pharmaceutical Investment Co lost 0.26 percent to 19.35 yuan. Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co Ltd was down 1.87 percent to 12.57 yuan. Shanghai Zi Jiang Enterprise Group Co Ltd buckled 3.17 percent to 5.20 yuan.


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