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Stocks lower as investors stay cautious

SHANGHAI'S key stock index swung between gain and loss in the morning session, ending slightly lower at the mid-day break as investors were cautious in trading after the barometer reached a nine-month high.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.11 percent, or 3.07 points, to close at 2,673.61 points. Losers outnumbered gainers 478 to 332 while 29 remained unchanged. The half-day turnover was 69.4 billion yuan (US$10.21 billion).

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 0.23 percent to finish at 902.20 points.

Several heavy-weighted companies led the losing pack. Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, withdrew 0.95 percent to 10.46 yuan. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China declined 0.46 percent to 4.31 yuan.

Bucking the downward trend, home appliances advanced after the central government yesterday pledged to offer subsidies to encourage home appliance upgrades. A total of 2 billion yuan worth of subsidies will be handed out at first under a trial phase in nine areas including Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin and several coastal provinces.

Sichuan Changhong Electric Co climbed 1.25 percent to 4.87 yuan. Hisense Electric Co jumped 2.05 percent to 12.46 yuan and Qingdao Aucma Co inched up 0.46 percent to 6.53 yuan.

Automakers showed mixed performance after the government also raised subsidies for vehicle replacement to 5 billion yuan from 1 billion yuan yesterday.

Shenyang Jinbei Automotive Co surged 9.95 percent to 4.09 yuan. Dongfeng Automobile Co hiked 4.93 percent to 5.11 yuan while SAIC Motor Corp eased 1.01 percent to 14.74 yuan.


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