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Stocks climb to close the month with 15.3% gain

SHANGHAI'S key stock index rose nearly 3 percent today, sending the barometer to its biggest monthly gain since the end of last year.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 2.72 percent, or 90.5 points, to close at 3,412.06 points, leading to a 15.3 percent increase this month. It was the seventh consecutive monthly gain, which was attributed to government incentive measures, explosive bank loans and optimism of an economic recovery.

Turnover rose slightly to 223 billion yuan (US$16.31 billion) from 219.8 billion yuan on Thursday. Gainers outnumbered losers 844 to 30 and 2 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 3.13 percent to close at 1,117.99 points.

Metal producers led the gains as higher commodity prices boosted expectations of better corporate earnings.

Aluminum Corporation of China, the nation's biggest maker of the lightweight metal, surged 8.15 percent to 19.64 yuan. Yunnan Copper and Jiangxi Copper both jumped the 10 percent daily cap to 35.51 yuan and 48.04 yuan respectively. Yunnan Chihong Zinc&Germanium Co surged 10 percent to 29.82 yuan.

Datang International Power Generation Co, a unit of China's second-biggest electricity producer, climbed the 10 percent daily limit to 10.47 yuan after saying first-half profit is expected to climb more than 50 percent from a year earlier.

Power makers also got a jolt today. Huadian Power International Corp soared 10 percent to 6.24 yuan. Shanghai Electric Power Co advanced 7.51 percent to 6.3 yuan. GD Power Development Co climbed 5 percent to 8.38 yuan. Huaneng Power International Inc, the listed unit of China's largest power group, gained 4.59 percent to 9.11 yuan.


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