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Trade figures give market the blues

SHANGHAI'S key stock index closed lower today with continued falls in China's trade figures.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.67 percent, or 18.93 points, to close at 2,797.32 points. Turnover was 132.7 billion yuan (US$19.4 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 555 to 304 and 49 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, lost 1.02 percent to close at 922.62 points.

China's exports fell 26.4 percent in May from the same period last year to US$88.8 billion, the General Administration of Customs said today. Exports in the first five months reached US$426.14 billion, down 21.8 percent from the year-earlier period and imports lowered 28 percent to US$337.34 billion.

Air carriers were weak. Air China, the biggest carrier by market value, lost 3.92 percent to 6.61 yuan. China Southern Airlines Co Ltd retreated 3.49 percent to 5.26 yuan.

Real estate developers were also among the losers. Poly Real Estate Group retreated 3.70 percent to 23.41 yuan. China Vanke Co, the nation's biggest listed property developer, was down 2.94 percent to 10.89 yuan. Gemdale Corporation buckled 6.08 percent to 13.43 yuan.

Financial shares had strong performances. Bank of China added 1.77 percent to 4.03 yuan. Bank of Communications advanced 2.75 percent to 8.21 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank edged up 0.19 percent to 21.04 yuan. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, rose 1.70 percent to 4.79 yuan.

Haitong Securities rose 0.67 percent to 16.49 yuan. Shanghai Lujiazui Finance & Trade Zone Development Co Ltd jumped 2.10 percent to 24.30 yuan.

TCL Corp, the nation's biggest maker of consumer electronics, posted a 92 percent year-on-year increase in sales of LCD television in May. Its shares fell 2.53 percent to 3.85 yuan.


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