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Steel and coal stocks pull up key index

SHANGHAI'S key stock index reversed morning losses and ended slightly higher yesterday, thanks to rallies by steel and coal producers.

The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.28 percent, or 7.52 points, to close at 2,652.78, after touching a low of 2,589.61 points. Turnover rose to 117.76 billion yuan (US$17.32 billion) from 106.6 billion yuan.

Shares in the local market opened lower after the United States market ended its nine consecutive weekly gains and posted a weekly loss last week across its three major indexes. But rallies by steel producers and nonferrous metal firms pushed the index up in the afternoon.

However, sluggish blue chips limited the rebound of the barometer yesterday.

PetroChina, the biggest component in the index, slumped 1.52 percent to 12.97 yuan, and Sinopec, Asia's largest refiner, declined 1.23 percent to 10.46 yuan.

"Despite the local benchmark index moving upward thanks to the support of heavyweights, some sectors corrected," said Wu Ling, an analyst at S&E Securities Brokerage Co. "With heavyweights turning weak, the index is seen to make some adjustments."

Kailuan Energy Chemical Co jumped 9.96 percent to 35.44 yuan, Datong Coal Industry Co surged 9.84 percent to 37.73 yuan, Pingdingshan Tianan Coal Mining Co soared 7.63 percent to 34.70 yuan and Yanzhou Coal Mining Co climbed 5.61 percent to 16.19 yuan.

Handan Iron and Steel Co added 3.54 percent to 4.97 yuan while Baoshan Iron and Steel Co edged up 0.64 percent to 6.33 yuan and Xinjiang Ba Yi Iron and Steel Co gained 1.49 percent to 9.55 yuan.


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