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Uncertainty prevails as morning market dips

SHANGHAI'S key stock index closed slightly lower with uncertainty in the market despite the announcement of industry stimulus plans.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.32 percent, or 7.02 points, to close at 2,199.56 points at 11:30am. Turnover was 58.7 billion yuan (US$8.58 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 609 to 237 and 62 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, lost 0.90 percent to close at 728.24 points.

Banks showed mixed results in the first half of trading. Bank of Communications added 1.28 percent to 5.56 yuan. China Construction Bank dipped 0.24 percent to 4.15 yuan. China Merchants Bank Co, the nation's fifth-largest bank by market value, was up 2.21 percent to 15.25 yuan. Bank of China lowered 0.31 percent to 3.22 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank advanced 2.75 percent to 17.56 yuan.

Metal producers were among the gainers after the government said it will take steps to boost domestic demand for nonferrous metals and "strictly control" capacity expansion under an industry stimulus plan.

Jiangxi Copper Co, China's biggest producer of the metal, edged up 0.05 percent to 18.25 yuan. Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, the nation's biggest maker of the lightweight metal, also known as Chalco, added 1.54 percent to 10.55 yuan.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's biggest oil refiner, has asked its refineries to boost gasoline output after inventories fell and demand climbed, the company said in a statement. Its shares advanced 2.60 percent to 8.28 yuan. PetroChina, the biggest component index, edged up 0.36 percent to 11.00 yuan.

China Railway Group Ltd, the nation's biggest construction company by total assets, said it has secured contracts worth 22.6 billion yuan to build railways and tunnels in the country. The stock rose 2.20 percent to 5.57 yuan.

Huaneng Power International Inc, a unit of China's biggest electricity generator, said it raised 5 billion yuan selling one-year bonds to boost its capital, reduce finance costs and fund production. The stock increased 1.33 percent to 8.36 yuan.


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