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Mainland shares record slight win despite decline in PMI

By Yu Xi  (Global Times)

13:27, August 24, 2012

Stock markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen finished trading with modest victories Thursday even though HSBC Holdings and Markit Economics' China Flash purchasing managers' index (PMI) sank to 47.8 for August, a nine-month low.

The Shanghai Composite Index tacked on 5.36 points, or 0.25 percent, to close at 2,113.07; while the Shenzhen Component Index crept up 0.05 percent, or 4.53 points, to end at 8,730.55.

Both benchmarks shot up quickly in morning trading thanks to strong gains from heavily weighted non-ferrous metal, coal and securities stocks. The release of HSBC's disappointing preliminary August PMI, a major gauge of manufacturing activity, later in the session weighed heavily on both indices and sparked anxieties among investors about the near-term growth outlook of China's economy, according to analysts. The lackluster reading helped send the Shenzhen Component to an intra-day low of 8,655 points and pushed the Shanghai Composite temporarily below the 2,100 point mark. Later gains in non-ferrous metal, touch screen, lithium battery and solar energy sectors in the afternoon session eventually helped both indices end the day in positive territory.

The securities sector snapped its recent losing streak Thursday after the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) began soliciting public opinion on a draft late Wednesday that would ease investment restrictions on local securities brokerages.

Haitong Securities Co edged up 0.70 percent at 8.58 yuan ($1.35) Thursday. Huatai Securities Co climbed 1.29 percent to 8.63 yuan.

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