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Shares dip in morning market trade

SHANGHAI'S key stock index remained in adjustment and closed lower in morning trade after gaining for five days.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.14 percent, or 3.52 points, to close at 2,532.54 points as of 11:30am. Turnover was 95.3 billion yuan (US$13.9 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 454 to 391 and 63 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was down 0.31 percent to close at 857.68 points.

China's consumer price index, a major gauge of inflation, fell 1.2 percent year on year in March, the National Bureau of Statistics announced in the morning. This compared with a decline of 1.6 percent in February, the first monthly fall since December 2002. The CPI lowered 0.6 percent year on year in the first quarter.

China's economy expanded by 6.1 percent year on year in the first quarter. The quarterly growth rate was the lowest in 10 years as the global financial crisis continued to affect the world's fastest-growing economy. It was 4.5 percentage points lower than the first quarter of 2008 and down 0.7 percentage points from the previous quarter.

The finance sector showed mixed results. Sinolink Securities lost 0.77 percent to 41.48 yuan. China Life Insurance Co Ltd, the country's largest life insurance company, dipped 0.20 percent to 24.85 yuan.

China Minsheng Banking Co Ltd surged 4.98 percent to 5.90 yuan. Bank of Communications lost 0.86 percent to 7.00 yuan. Pudong Development Bank lost 0.40 percent to 22.42 yuan. China Merchants Bank Co was up 0.50 percent to 16.20 yuan.

Airlines were among the losers. China Southern Airlines, the country's largest carrier by fleet size, reported a loss of 4.82 billion yuan last year. Its shares tumbled 4.38 percent to 5.90 yuan. Air China, the biggest domestic carrier by market value, lost 2.52 percent to 6.57 yuan.


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