Stocks rally to hit December high

09:13, December 15, 2010      

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China's stocks rose to the highest in a month as computer software companies rallied on speculation the government will boost investment in the industry as part of new economic reforms, overshadowing declines by energy producers.

UFIDA Software Co and China National Software & Service Co advanced at least 1.8 percent after Shanghai Securities News reported the government will maintain preferential policies for the industry.

Jiangxi Wannianqing Cement Co climbed to the highest since September 2007 after saying profit may more than double this year.

The Shanghai Composite Index climbed for a third day, adding 0.14 percent to 2927.08 at the 3 pm close on Tuesday, the highest since Nov 15. The CSI 300 Index rose 0.26 percent to 3269.47.

"The market needs a break here and some small-cap stocks in industries the government is seeking to support will continue to outperform," said Wang Zheng, Shanghai-based chief investment officer at Jingxi Investment Management Co, which manages about $120 million.

The Shanghai gauge has lost 7.4 percent since reaching an almost seven-month high on Nov 8 on concern that monetary tightening will curb economic growth. The central bank on Friday ordered lenders to park more money with the central bank for the third time in five weeks to soak up excessive liquidity.

A gauge of technology stocks advanced 1.4 percent, the second most among the 10 industry groups in the CSI 300. Software companies rose on the outlook for increasing government support for new strategic industries.

China plans to have more than 10 software companies each with annual sales exceeding 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) over the next five years, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Tuesday.

China National Software advanced 3.18 percent to 24.30 yuan on Tuesday. Shandong Langchao Cheeloosoft Co jumped 7.18 percent to 17.77 yuan, the biggest gain since Nov 4.

ISoftStone Holdings Ltd, a Beijing-based information technology services provider, raised $141 million pricing its US initial public offering at the top of the forecast range. The sale was the 40th US IPO from a mainland company in 2010, capping a record year that exceeded the 37 deals in 2007, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Jiangxi Wannianqing Cement jumped by the 10 percent daily limit to 13.09 yuan after saying net income may increase between 100 percent to 150 percent this year on increased sales and product prices.

Anhui Conch Cement Co rose 4.02 percent to 30.77 yuan. Huaxin Cement Co climbed 7.89 percent to 31.98 yuan.

PetroChina slid 1.09 percent to 11.82 yuan on Tuesday. The shares trade at 17.7 times reported earnings, compared with 15.3 times at the beginning of October.

Other energy companies also fell as crude prices declined from a four-day high in New York. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp lost 0.84 percent to 8.29 yuan.

Source:China Daily
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