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Profit taking sends shares lower at midday

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended lower in the morning session, as investors took profits in the real estate sector.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.86 percent, or 22.39 points, to close at 2,570.13 points.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was down 2 percent to close at 865.83 points.

Shares opened higher but met some resistance at 2,620 points and started tracking downward in a broad sell-off to cash in profits.

Property developers tumbled this morning after gains in previous trading days. Shanghai-based Shimao Co plunged 4.35 percent to 12.54 yuan. Poly Real Estate Group Co retreated 2.6 percent to 20.22 yuan.

Shanghai-based property developers gained at first on the central government's plan to merge Shanghai's Nanhui District into Pudong New Area as part of its initiative to build Shanghai into a major international financial and shipping hub. Nanhui, with an area of 700 square kilometers, would provide new opportunities for these developers, analysts said.

Shanghai Lujiazui Finance & Trade Zone slid 1.74 percent to 26 yuan. Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park Development Co eased 0.58 percent to 15.50 yuan. Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone dipped 0.69 percent to 15.88 yuan.

Airliners were among the losers. Air China dived 5.79 percent to 6.83 yuan. China Southern Airlines Ltd slumped 5.06 percent to 5.44 yuan. Hainan Airlines Co shed 4.78 percent to 5.38 yuan. China Eastern Airlines Corp declined 4.82 percent to 4.82 yuan.

Elsewhere, lenders had a mixed performance. Bank of Communications Co added 2.56 percent to 7.22 yuan. China Construction Bank Corp climbed 1.33 percent to 4.58 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co dipped 0.37 percent to 24.4 yuan. Bank of Communications Co fell 2.56 percent to close the session at 7.22 yuan.


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