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Profit taking sees stocks slide in morning sesssion

SHANGHAI'S key stock index closed lower at the morning session amid profit taking after the rallies of previous trading days.

The Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.52 percent, or 12.42 points, to 2,376.97 points at 11:30am.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was down 1.19 percent, or 9.11 points, to 7524.20 points.

Metal producers had a mixed performance after metal prices fell on speculation demand will remain falling through the year. Jiangxi Copper, China's second-biggest producer of the metal, gained 1.59 percent to 18.48 yuan. Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, the nation's biggest maker of the light metal, lost 1.97 percent to 10.97 yuan.

China Oilfield Services Ltd, the drilling unit of the nation's third-largest oil producer, rose for a second day after state-owned China National Petroleum Corp said yesterday the nation may set up an oil fund to boost exploration. Its shares surged 4.51 percent to 15.99 yuan after jumping the 10 percent daily cap yesterday.

Elsewhere, Beiqi Foton Motor Co, China's biggest commercial-vehicle maker said automobile sales dropped 35 percent in January from a year earlier to 19,455 vehicles. The stock slid 3.09 percent to 9.08 yuan.

China Construction Bank Corp, the nation's second largest lender, said today it plans to sell as much as 40 billion yuan (US$5.9 billion) of subordinated bonds to replenish capital and strengthen its risk-management capability. The lender climbed 1.54 percent to 4.63 yuan.

Rizhao Port Co, China's fourth-largest port for handling coal, surged to a four-month high in Shanghai trading after profit climbed 46 percent last year as it moved more cargo.

Rizhao Port rose by the 10 percent daily limit to 6.22 yuan. In an exchange statement, the company said it will ask shareholders to approve a private share placement of up to 300 million shares to raise funds for expansion.


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