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Stocks edge higher on strong economic data

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended higher at the midday break after economic data for the second quarter boosted investor confidence.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.71 percent, or 22.74 points, to close at 3,211.3 points. Turnover stood at 119.5 billion yuan (US$17.57 billion) with losers outnumbering gainers 452 to 378 and 34 staying unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, rose 0.6 percent to close at 1,084.28 points.

Gross domestic product expanded 7.9 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier after a 6.1 percent gain in the previous three months, the statistics bureau said in Beijing today. The economic growth exceeded economists' expectations.

The financial sector was strong with the nation's biggest lender, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, adding 1.52 percent to 5.35 yuan.

China Construction Bank edged up 2.45 percent to close at 6.28 yuan, Bank of China increased 1.57 percent to 4.54 yuan and Bank of Communications jumped 3.02 percent to 10.24 yuan.

Metal producers led the gains on increased commodity prices. Jiangxi Copper Co surged 7.77 percent to 38.7 yuan and Aluminum Corp jumped 3.89 percent to 14.15 yuan.

Western Mining Co advanced 3.28 percent to 16.68 yuan and Minmetals Development Co gained 2.73 percent to 20.32 yuan.


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