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Shanghai shares gain 1.6% at midday

SHANGHAI'S key stock index continued with last week's positive momentum and gained in the morning session to finish above 2,200 points.

China Cosco and other blue chips led the gain.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1.60 percent, or 34.91 points, to close at 2,216.15 points as of 11:30am. Turnover was 80.4 billion yuan (US$11.7 billion). Gainers outnumbered gainers 742 to 101 and 65 did not change.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, rose 2.64 percent to close at 690.61 points.

China Cosco Holdings Co, the world's largest operator of dry-bulk ships, surged the daily limit of 10 percent to 10.74 yuan. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of commodity shipping costs, jumped more than 50 percent in the past week, an indication of a rebound in shipping rates. China Shipping Development Co Ltd increased 4.17 percent to 12 yuan.

China has announced a series of supporting measures for key industrial sectors such as petrochemicals, textiles and automobiles. More measures are expected to be announced in the near future for electronics and real estate.

China Vanke Co, the nation's largest real-estate developer said in a statement to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange that its January property sales increased 19 percent from the same period last year to 2.19 billion yuan. Its shares were up 1.66 percent to 7.95 yuan. Poly Real Estate Group Co, China's second-largest publicly traded developer, was up 1.90 percent to 18.61 yuan.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner, said it will boost oil and gas output at its northwestern fields by 67 percent from 2015 to 2020 in order to meet increasing demand. Its shares increased 1.17 percent to 8.65 yuan. PetroChina, the largest index component, climbed 1.16 percent to 11.32 yuan.

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co, China's second-largest insurer, posted a 92 percent decline in the value of its Fortis investment, a Belgium financial service firm. Its shares were up 1.74 percent to 34.56 yuan.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, increased 0.51 percent to 3.94 yuan. Bank of China added 0.30 percent to finish the session at 3.29 yuan.


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