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Shanghai shares close at 14-month high

SHANGHAI'S key stock index reversed early losses and ended slightly higher to close at a 14-month high today.

The gain was led by steel makers as investors expected demand to rise for metals.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.09 percent, or 3.16 points, to close at 3,438.37 points after touching an intra-day low of 3,392.43 points. Turnover rose slightly to 243.6 billion yuan (US$35.82 billion) from 240.6 billion yuan from the previous trading day. Gainers outnumbered losers 575 to 285 and 16 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, rose 1.11 percent to 1,138.52 points.

Steel makers led the gains. Baoshan Iron & Steel Co, the nation's biggest steel maker, soared 8.67 percent to 9.4 yuan.

Anyang Iron & Steel Inc and Inner Mongolia Bao Tou Steel Union Co both surged the 10 percent daily cap to 7.03 yuan and 4.91 yuan respectively. Wuhan Iron and Steel Co was up 5.85 percent to 11.22 yuan. Handan Iron & Steel Co rose 5.75 percent to 7.54 yuan.

Toll road operator Sichuan Expressway tumbled the 10 percent daily cap to 9.81 yuan after more than tripling from its debut price on Monday.

Sluggish heavyweights limited the rebound of the local market. PetroChina, the biggest component index, fell 1.16 percent to 16.19 yuan. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's largest oil refiner, dropped 0.14 percent to 14.27 yuan.


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