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Stocks close higher for first time in three days

SHANGHAI'S key stock index closed higher for the first time in three days, led by electronics firms as the government approved a plan to boost the sector yesterday after the market was closed.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.78 percent, or 17.26 points, to 2,227.13 points.

Gainers outnumbered losers 694 to 173 while 16 remained unchanged. Turnover shrank to 108.3 billion yuan (US$15.93 billion), down from 135.3 billion yuan on the previous trading day.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 2.13 percent, or 15.07 points, to 722.1 points.

The government promised to provide additional investment in the electronics and information industries and to promote the expansion of 3G communications and other high-tech services.

China National Software & Service Co jumped the 10 percent daily limit to 11.46 yuan while Fujian Newland Computer Co advanced 5.26 percent to 5.6 yuan.

Founder Technology Group Corp, China's second-largest computer maker, gained 4.09 percent to 3.82 yuan. Tsinghua Tongfang Co, a manufacturer of personal computers, added 2.58 percent to 14.31 yuan.

Baoshan Iron & Steel Co, China's biggest steel maker, climbed 4.18 percent to 5.98 yuan on media reports that the government plans to issue policies this weekend to encourage domestic steel takeovers.

Angang Steel Co, China's second-largest steel maker by market value, increased 2.98 percent to 8.65 yuan. Maanshan Iron & Steel Co, the No. 4, rose 4.3 percent to 4.12 yuan.

Shanghai Securities News said the government's policies will support the emergence of larger steel mills, citing a copy of the stimulus plan obtained by the newspaper.

Elsewhere, China Railway Construction Corp edged up 2.81 percent to 10.25 yuan after saying a unit won two contracts worth 18.5 billion yuan (US$2.7 billion).

Zijin Mining Group Co, China's largest gold producer said it will sell as much as 200 million yuan worth of copper to Jinyi Copper Co this year. The stock dipped 1.85 percent to 7.97 yuan.


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