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Stocks fail to conquer 3,000 level

SHANGHAI stocks soared at the beginning of trade yesterday but ended lower at the close as the index failed to reach the 3,000 barrier.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.54 percent, or 15.95 points, to close at 2,959.36 points, after hitting a high of 2,997.27 points.

Turnover rose to 143.7 billion yuan (US$21.03 billion) from 136.9 billion yuan the previous trading day.

Shares opened higher, led by oil producers, after the National Development and Reform Commission raised gasoline and diesel prices by 9 percent and 10 percent respectively for the second time in a month to track higher crude oil rates.

But the local index began to fluctuate as investors became edgy when it approached about 3,000 points.

"Despite support from heavyweights, slack steel producers and auto makers dragged the market down," said Wan Bing, an analyst from GF Securities Co.

Steel producers led the losses and were sluggish after a price-rise slowdown.


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