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New trading platform gives coal shares a lift

By Yu Xi (Global Times)

08:49, July 13, 2012

The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets ended with gains Thursday, thanks largely to a stellar performance from the coal sector.

The Shanghai Composite Index edged up 10.11 points, or 0.46 percent, to close at 2,185.49; while the Shenzhen Component Index advanced 165.19 points, or 1.72 percent, to finish at 9,753.49.

Both markets opened lower Thursday due to contractions in US and European stocks overnight. The Shanghai Composite Index swung down in the morning session as insurance and automobile stocks took a nose dive. The index was able to turn around in the afternoon thanks to solid showings from coal and non-ferrous metal stocks, and ultimately closed out the day with a win.

The Qinhuangdao spot coal e-trading platform, the largest electronic trading platform for coal in China, started online operations Thursday, according to the Beijing News. Analysts say the platform will help stabilize the coal market by allowing producers to determine reasonable prices for the commodity.

Shenzhen-listed Shanxi Meijin Energy Co and Shanghai-listed Shanxi Coal International Energy Group Co both shot to the daily limit, closing at 12.18 yuan ($1.91) and 23.01 yuan respectively.

Although most sectors edged up Thursday, some analysts still voiced concern about what impact macro conditions will have on the markets in the near term. Linus Yip, a strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong, said "markets are occupied with the slowing in China, so if GDP goes down to 7 percent or 7.2 percent, it won't be a good sign," according to a report on marketwatch.com Thursday.

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