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Positive outlook gives market a boost

SHANGHAI'S key stock index climbed to above 2,900 points, a more than 1 percent gain, with strong performances by financial shares and a positive outlook on the macroeconomy.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.02 percent, or 29.60 points, to close at 2,922.30 points. Turnover was 146.6 billion yuan (US$21.5 billion). Gainers outnumbered losers 654 to 184 and 70 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, added 1.84 percent to close at 953.93 points.

China's economy may grow by nearly 8 percent in the first half of the year, Guo Tongxin, an analyst with the National Bureau of Statistics wrote in an article on the bureau's Website yesterday.

Steel companies and coal producers were strong. Nanjing Iron and Steel Co hiked hiked 4.06 percent to 5.64 yuan. Baoshan Iron and Steel Co, China's biggest steel maker, rose 3.00 percent to 7.20 yuan. Beijing Shougang Co Ltd increased 3.29 percent to 6.27 yuan. China Shenhua Energy Co ltd surged 4.78 percent to 27.84 yuan. China Coal Energy Co Ltd rose 3.92 percent to 12.18 yuan.

China Vanke Co, the biggest listed domestic real estate developer, edged up 0.49 percent to 12.41 yuan. Gemdale Corporation was up 0.07 percent to 15.10 yuan. China Merchants Property Development Co Ltd added 0.35 percent to 28.73 yuan and Poly Real Estate Group rose 1.15 percent to 25.58 yuan.

Banks were among the losers with speculation that the China Banking Regulatory Commission would raise the reserve ratio. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, dropped 1.11 percent to 5.36 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank dipped 0.45 percent to 22.35 yuan. China Construction Bank lost 1.46 percent to close at 6.07 yuan and Bank of Communications retreated 1.43 percent to 8.95 yuan.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner, also known as Sinopec, rose 2.04 percent to 10.52 yuan. PetroChina, the largest oil producer and biggest heavyweight in the market, added 1.30 percent to 14.06 yuan.

Brokerages were strong after Zhejiang Wanma Cable Co became the second company to be given approval to go public after initial public offerings were resumed last week. Sinolink Securities was up 1.48 percent to 22.64 yuan. Haitong Securities rose 1.60 percent to 16.47 yuan. Guoyuan Securities added 2.09 percent to 18.59 yuan. China CITIC Securities increased 1.34 percent to 28.70 yuan.


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