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Promising future boosts morning market

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended slightly higher in the morning session on anticipation of better economic conditions in the second quarter.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.61 percent, or 17.83 points, to close at 2,946.05 points. Gainers outnumbered losers 503 to 301 while 38 remained unchanged. Turnover stood at 66.16 billion yuan (US$9.73 billion).

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 0.92 percent to close at 967.52 points.

Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of China's central bank, said over the weekend that economic growth in the second quarter is expected to be faster than the 6.1 percent rise in the first quarter, the slowest pace in nearly 20 years.

The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission is reportedly set to issue guidelines to stabilize the market with stricter limits on the sale of convertible bonds and limits on reducing shares by the biggest shareholders of state-owned companies.

Property developers led the gains. Gemdale Corp, a Chinese partner of ING Group NV, jumped 3.68 percent to 16.36 yuan. Poly Real Estate Group Co, China's second-largest developer by market value, soared 5.29 percent to 28.04 yuan while Shanghai-based Shimao Property Co climbed 1.81 percent to 14.65 yuan.

Insurers were on the gaining side. China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co advanced 4.05 percent to 22.36 yuan. Ping An Insurance (Group) Co increased 2.2 percent to 47.95 yuan. China Life Insurance Co expanded 1.09 percent to 27.75 yuan.

Steel producers bucked the upward trend. Baoshan Iron & Steel Co, the country's largest steelmaker, eased 0.42 percent to 7.17 yuan. Wuhan Iron & Steel Co lost 0.86 percent to 8.03 yuan and Angang Steel Co, China's second-biggest steel maker, retreated 0.73 percent to 13.59 yuan.


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