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Shanghai market hits 8-month high

SHANGHAI'S key stock index rose to the highest in more than eight months yesterday with the market still optimistic about the economic outlook.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index grew 0.54 percent, or 13.48 points, to close at 2,527.18, the highest since August 8. Turnover was 161.9 billion yuan (US$23.7 billion).

Auto makers were among those that gained, among speculation the government would announce new measures to aid car purchases. SAIC Motor Co, China's largest car maker, rose 8.41 percent to 10.57 yuan. Beiqi Foton Motor Co, China's biggest commercial-vehicle maker, surged the 10 percent daily limit to 11.09 yuan. FAW Car Co rose 5.04 percent to 12.93 yuan.

A stimulus package for the electronic information industry boosted shares. Anhui Sun Create Electronics Co rose 8.56 percent to 25.50 yuan. Greatwall Information Industry Co hiked 8.57 percent to 8.36 yuan. Shandong Langchao Cheeloosoft Co surged the daily limit of 10 percent to close at 12.23 yuan.

"The index is likely to rise only on a small scale with enough liquidity and optimism in the market," according to a research note by China Merchants Securities.

China's power output in March fell about 2 percent from a year earlier as the world's third-biggest economy slowed, an official from the China Electricity Council said, citing preliminary data compiled by the industry group.

Huaneng Power International Inc, the listed unit of China's largest power group, was down 1.01 percent to 7.85 yuan after output fell last month. Huadian Power International Co Ltd lost 1.01 percent to close at 4.89 yuan. Datang International Power Generation Co, a unit of China's second-biggest electricity producer, dipped 0.66 percent to 7.49 yuan.

Cosco Shipping Co, the unit of China's biggest shipbuilding company said first-quarter profit dropped more than 50 percent, citing the decline in shipping traffic and rates because of the international financial crisis. Its shares were down 1.54 percent to 11.52 yuan.

Sichuan Changhong Electric Co, China's second-biggest television maker said profit may decline more than 50 percent for 2008 because operations were hurt by the earthquake that hit Sichuan Province. Its shares edged up 0.65 percent to 4.62 yuan.


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