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Shanghai stocks drop on back of banks and steel

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended lower yesterday with weak performance in the financial and steel sectors.

The Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.46 percent, or 9.09 points, to 1,985.02 points. Total turnover was 68.0 billion yuan (US$9.94 billion), up from Tuesday's 55.5 billion yuan.

"China cannot avoid the global economic downturn, but that doesn't mean investors have no chance. We suggest investors put their focus on companies with long-term earningability, especially those with capital injection fromthe government," HuataiSecurities said in a research note.

Banks showed mixed results. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank advanced 1.05 percent to 16.37 yuan. The Bank of Communications added 1.26 percent to 5.63 yuan. The Bank of China dipped 0.33 percent to 3.05 yuan.

China Life Insurance Co Ltd, the country's largest life insurance company, was down 1.82 percent to 19.92 yuan. China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd retreated 3.68 percent to 13.88 yuan.

Angang Steel Co, the country's second-largest steel maker by market value, said profit for 2008 fell 55 percent on rising cost of raw materials. Its stocks tumbled 2.94 percent to 7.91 yuan. Baoshan Iron and Steel Co, China's biggest steel maker, dipped 0.75 percent to 5.31 yuan.

Property developers were among the gainers with speculation that the government is planning more measures to boost the property market. China Vanke Co, the largest domestic property developer, added 2.60 percent to 7.10 yuan. Gemdale Corp hiked 5.12 percent to 7.80 yuan.


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