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Shares jump more than 2% at midday

SHANGHAI'S key stock index jumped more than 2 percent in the morning session on speculation the government will strengthen efforts to prop up the country's ailing industries and counter the economic slowdown.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.23 percent, or 42.88 points, to 1963.09 points at 11:30am.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 1.38 percent, or 8.2 points, to 604.07 points.

Premier Wen Jiabao pledged earlier to increase a 4-trillion-yuan ($585 billion) stimulus package, which was first unveiled in November.

China's National Development & Reform Commission and the Ministry of Industry & Information Technology reportedly will review a machinery industry stimulus package designed to speed up mergers and acquisitions and encourage technology innovation.

Guangxi Liugong Machinery Co, a maker of construction equipment, advanced 3.92 percent. Sany Heavy Industry Co, the country's biggest maker of machinery for handling concrete, rose 4.88 percent to 19.12 yuan. Weichai Power Co, a maker of high-speed heavy-duty diesel engines, jumped 5.97 percent to 23.42 yuan.


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