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Stock index hits 12-month high

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended higher to close at a 12-month high today with strong performances by insurers and property developers.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.09 percent, or 2.75 points, to close at 2,925.05 points. Turnover was 129.3 billion yuan (US$18.9 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 528 to 320 and 70 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, ended 0.05 percent higher to 954.41 points.

Sinopec Group said yesterday it has agreed to buy Canadian-listed Addax Petroleum Corp for US$7.2 billion, giving it oil reserves from West Africa to Iraq. Its listed unit China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner, also known as Sinopec, was up 0.38 percent to 10.56 yuan.

China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd hiked 6.37 percent to 21.38 yuan. Ping An Insurance (Group) Co advanced 2.80 percent to 47.04 yuan. China Life Insurance Co Ltd, the country's largest life insurance company, jumped 2.39 percent to 27.45 yuan.

Banks showed mixed results. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, was up 1.49 percent to 5.44 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank lost 0.94 percent to 22.14 yuan. China Construction Bank rose 0.49 percent to close at 6.10 yuan. Bank of Communications was down 1.01 percent to 8.86 yuan.

China Vanke Co, the biggest listed domestic real estate developer, was up 0.40 percent to 12.46 yuan. Gemdale Corporation advanced 2.65 percent to 15.50 yuan. China Merchants Property Development Co Ltd added 0.52 percent to 29.23 yuan.

Shipping companies were among the losers. China Shipping Development Co Ltd lost 1.85 percent to 13.09 yuan. Shanghai International Port (Group) Co was down 1.39 percent to 5.69 yuan. Cosco Shipping Co Ltd dropped 2.24 percent to 10.46 yuan.


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