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Shanghai shares drop on weaker steel firms

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended lower in the morning session, led by steel producers on speculation iron ore prices may rise next year.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.53 percent to 2,963.86 points. Turnover stood at 53.9 billion yuan (US$7.9 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 606 to 253, with 20 stocks unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was down 0.4 percent to close at 1,021.08 points.

Baoshan Iron & Steel Co, the country's largest steelmaker, was down 0.44 percent at 6.85 yuan. Handan Iron & Steel Co retreated 1.61 percent to 4.88 yuan.
Media reports said iron ore exporters have asked for a price increase of as much as 35 percent for next year as commodity prices keep rising on a weaker US dollar.

Elsewhere, Huadian Power International Corp climbed 1.1 percent to 5.37 yuan after saying it may return to profit in the first three quarters.


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