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Profit-taking sends market sliding 2.93 percent

SHANGHAI'S key stock index extended the losses of its morning session amid profit taking following the rallies of previous trading days.

The Shanghai Composite Index buckled 2.93 percent, or 69.95 points, to 2,319.44 points. Turnover was 169.2 billion yuan (US$25.76 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 761 to 118 and 29 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, tumbled 3.45 percent, or 26.33 points, to 736.98 points.

Metal producers were weak today after metal prices fell on speculation demand would continue dropping through the year. Jiangxi Copper, China's second-biggest producer of the metal, dipped 0.77 percent to 18.05 yuan. Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, the nation's biggest maker of the light metal, was down 2.95 percent to 10.86 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 advanced 1.11 percent to 15.47 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 retreated 6.83 percent to 8.73 yuan.

Banks ended lower today. China Construction Bank Corp, the nation's second largest lender, said today it plans to sell 40 billion yuan (US$5.9 billion) of subordinated bonds to replenish capital and strengthen its risk-management capability. The lender dropped 2.63 percent to 4.44 yuan. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, decreased 2.20 percent to 4.01 yuan. Bank of China slid 2.81 percent to 3.46 yuan.

Rizhao Port, the country's fourth-largest port for handling coal, said in a statement that its profit for 2008 surged more than 67 percent to 281 million yuan. Its shares jumped the daily limit of 10 percent to close at 6.22 yuan.


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