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Record finish for key index

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended the week upbeat, hitting a record high since August, led by lenders and property developers.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.09 percent, or 28.20 points, to close at 2,625.65. Gainers outnumbered losers 435 to 388 with 20 unchanged. Turnover shrank to 156.22 billion yuan (US$22.9 billion) from 174.95 billion on Thursday.

The index gained an accumulative 5.98 percent this week.

It closed lower at the morning break following tumbles in United States markets. But lenders and property developers led shares up on expectations China's central bank would further lower the reserve requirement to ensure stable growth of bank loans and smooth economic recovery.

"Property sales in April boosted investors' confidence in the sector," said Si Wen, an analyst from Huaxi Securities Co.

Poly Real Estate Group Co surged 4.77 percent to 21.73 yuan. Shanghai-based Shimao climbed 1.99 percent to 13.3 yuan. Shanghai Lujiazui Finance & Trade Zone inched up 0.31 percent to 26.12 yuan.

China Merchants Bank Co jumped 6.07 percent to 17.29 yuan. China Construction Bank Corp rose 2.17 percent to 4.71 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co increased 0.89 percent to 24.82 yuan and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China gained 1.87 percent to 4.36 yuan.

Steel producers were sluggish.

Wuhan Iron and Steel Co dipped by 0.68 percent to 7.34 yuan while Inner Mongolia Bao Tou Steel Union Co edged down 0.53 percent to 3.74 yuan.


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