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Profit-taking sends Shanghai bourse to a lower close

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended lower today as profit taking pulled the market down in the afternoon.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.15 percent, or 4.81 points, to close at 3,183.74 points. Turnover rose slightly to 218.41 billion yuan (US$32.12 billion) from 217.65 billion yuan. Losers outnumbered gainers 589 to 257 and 18 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, dipped 0.14 percent to close at 1,076.38 points.

The local benchmark index was boosted in earlier trading on encouraging economic data for the second quarter and reached an intraday high of 3,221.07 points.

But shares began fluctuating and turned south near the close as investors were eager to take profits at a high around 3,200 points.

Gross domestic product expanded 7.9 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, shored up by the country's massive 4 trillion yuan stimulus package and soaring new credit, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The growth beat economists' expectations and almost hit the nation's full-year goal of 8 percent.

GDP grew 7.1 percent from the same period a year ago to 13.99 trillion yuan in the first half, the bureau said.

Automakers led today's losers with Shenyang Jinbei Automotive Co tumbling 2.83 percent to 4.46 yuan and Dongfeng Automobile Co retreating 2.78 percent to 5.24 yuan. Beiqi Foton Motor Co lost 1.15 percent to 15.41 yuan and SAIC Motor Corp slid 2.97 percent to 18.97 yuan.

The financial sector was strong with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, adding 0.76 percent to 5.31 yuan.

China Construction Bank edged up 1.47 percent to close at 6.22 yuan, Bank of China increased 0.89 percent to 4.51 yuan and Bank of Communications Co hiked 0.8 percent to 10.02 yuan.

Metal producers led the gains on increased commodity prices. Jiangxi Copper Co surged 3.7 percent to 37.24 yuan and Aluminum Corp jumped 0.51 percent to 13.69 yuan.


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