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Steel and coal take market down at midday

SHANGHAI'S key stock index dropped more than 2 percent in the morning session with falls in steel makers and coal producers.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was down 2.04 percent, or 46.07 points, to close at 2,214.75 points as of 11:30am. Turnover was 74.4 billion yuan (US$10.9 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 645 to 204 and 59 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was down 2.03 percent, or 14.57 points, to close at 701.83 points.

PetroChina, the biggest component index, lost 0.86 percent to 11.51 yuan. Shanxi Coking Co Ltd was down 4.50 percent to 6.15 yuan. China Peroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner, buckled 2.96 percent to 8.52 yuan.

Baoshan Iron and Steel Co, China's biggest steel maker, lowered 3.09 percent to 5.64 yuan. Angang Steel Co Lted dropped 4.59 percent to 8.32 yuan.

The State Council announced yesterday that it would ban the construction of new shipyards for three years to support domestic shipbuilders faced with plunging demand. China State Shipbuilding Co, the country's largest shipbuilder, surged Guangzhou Shipyard International Co, the smaller unit of China State, surged 8.65 percent to 57.76 yuan. Both Guangzhou Shipyard International Co Ltd and CSSC Jiangnan Heavy Industry Co Ltd hiked the daily limit of 10 percent. Guangzhou Shipyard closed at 20.89 yuan and CSSC Jiangnan ended at 15.70 yuan.

China Construction Bank, the country's second-largest bank, said it plans to sell 40 billion yuan of subordinated bonds next week. Its shares buckled 3.61 percent to 4.27 yuan. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, lost 2.28 percent to 3.86 yuan.

China Railway Construction Corp said it has won a US$1.8 billion contract to lay 18 kilometers of railway line in Saudi Arabia. The stock edged up 0.29 percent to 10.27 yuan.

Shenzhen Development Bank said it would set aside 5.6 billion yuan in provision against non-performing loans of the fourth quarter. Its shares tumbled 4.64 percent to 13.16 yuan.


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