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Sluggish market ends down

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended lower today after a sluggish performance by financial shares and auto manufacturers.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.71 percent, or 21.2 points, to close at 2,946.4 points. Turnover rose slightly to 145.25 billion yuan (US$21.36 billion) from 143.73 billion yuan yesterday. Gainers outnumbered losers 575 to 281, and 21 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, gained 0.19 percent to close at 1,005.14 points.

"Despite encouraging macro-economic data, earnings of blue-chips such as lenders, brokerages and auto makers have fallen short of investor expectation, fanning concerns the market is excessively optimistic over the economic recovery," said Wan Bing, an analyst at GF Securities Co.

Automakers led the losers. SAIC Motor Corp slid 2.04 percent to 18.28 yuan. Dongfeng Automobile Co withdrew 1 percent to 4.93 yuan. FAW Car Co retreated 1.74 percent to 18.08 yuan.

Lenders were also weak. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, dropped 0.63 percent to 4.7 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank inched down 2.56 percent to 20.16 yuan. China Merchants Bank Co was off 0.99 percent to 15.05 yuan.


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