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Shanghai shares rise on optimism over economic growth

SHANGHAI'S key stock index added nearly 1 percent in the morning session, as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao reiterated a pro-active monetary policy and pledged to strengthen management of inflation.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.93 percent, or 28.28 points, to close at 3,080.23 points. Turnover was 63.4 billion yuan(US$9.28 billion). Gainers outnumbered losers 718 to 143, and 54 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, added 0.97 percent to close at 1,183.76 points.

Premier Wen told an online chat organized by two major state-owned portals on Saturday that the government still needs an appropriately loose monetary policy to keep stable and relatively fast economic growth while it will also keep an eye on inflationary pressure.

"I believe we can keep stable and relatively fast economic growth while controlling prices at a reasonable level," he said.

China's Purchasing Manager's Index remained in the expansionary range for the 12th month, the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing said in a statement today. The figure fell to a seasonally adjusted 52 in February, lower from 55.8 in January, easing the risk of an overheating in the fast-growing economy.

Heavily weighted steel makers and oil producers were among the gainers. Baoshan Iron and Steel Co, China's biggest steel maker, advanced 1.12 percent to 8.13 yuan. PetroChina edged up 0.23 percent to 13.03 yuan. Wuhan Iron & Steel jumped 1.03 percent to 6.88 yuan.

Copper suppliers were strong on concerns that the metal's output might be disrupted by the Chilean earthquake, lifting commodity prices.

Yunnan Copper Co surged 7.53 percent to 27.42 yuan. Jiangxi Copper rallied 6.93 percent to 37.47 yuan.

Banks were also lifted the index. Bank of Communications added 1.10 percent to 8.29 yuan. China Merchants Bank rose 2.14 percent to 16.24 yuan.


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