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Shanghai shares flat in morning session

SHANGHAI'S key stock index was flat in the morning session as slowing growth in the Consumer Price Index last month created concern about the possibility of deflation that could continue until the end of this year.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.07 percent, or 1.49 points, to 2,226.20 points as of 11:30am. Turnover was 70.6 billion yuan (US$10.32 billion). Losing shares outnumbered gainers 521 to 330 and 57 did not change.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 0.26 percent, or 1.79 points, to close at 698.13 points.

The CPI increased 1 percent last month from the previous year, but 0.2 percentage points lower than the previous month, the National Bureau of Statistics announced this morning. The Producer Price Index dropped 3.3 percent last month on year. It was the fifth consecutive monthly decline.

PetroChina, the biggest component index, advanced 2.03 percent to 11.55 yuan. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner, added 0.93 percent to 8.69 yuan.

Banks were weak in the first half of trading among speculation that lower interest rates would reduce profits. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest listed lender, dipped 0.51 percent to 3.91 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank fell 1.24 percent to 17.57 yuan. Bank of China lowered 0.61 percent to 3.26 yuan.

Real estate developers were among the gainers as lower loan rates may push property sales. China Vanke Co, the nation's biggest listed developer, added 1.52 percent to 8.02 yuan. Gemdale Corporation advanced 2.19 percent to 8.88 yuan.

China Life Insurance Co, the nation's biggest insurer, said its parent company plans to inject 2 billion yuan in China Life Asset Management Co to bolster the joint venture. The stock dipped 0.09 percent to 22.36 yuan.


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