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Shares stand above 2,000 points on positive economic trends
Updated: 2009-01-22 15:11

Chinese share prices closed one percent higher on Thursday after the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the country's economic growth showed positive trends.

The Shanghai Composite Index climbed one percent to 2,004. The Shenzhen Component Index was up 1.15 percent to 7,050.

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Combined turnover reduced to 103.65 billion yuan ($14.8 billion) from 106.39 billion yuan on the previous trading day.

The NBS announced on Thursday the country's economy cooled to its slowest pace in seven years in 2008, expanding 9 percent year-on-year as the widening global financial crisis continued to affect the world's fastest-growing economy.

Nevertheless, the country's performance was better than the average growth of 3.7 percent for the world economy last year, 1.4 percent for developed countries and 6.6 percent for developing and emerging economies, NBS director Ma Jiantang said, citing estimates of the International Monetary Fund.

Officials and analysts said some positive signs surfaced in December, which they believed indicated China could economically recover before other countries.

Medical-related industries rose sharply on the announcement of a long-awaited medical reform plan. Beijing Wandong Medical Equipment Co Ltd rose by the daily limit of 10 percent to 7.55 yuan. Topchoice Medical Investment Co Inc also rose by 10 percent to 6.46 yuan.

The State Council, or Cabinet, passed a medical reform plan Wednesday which promised to spend 850 billion yuan ($123 billion) by 2011 to provide universal medical service to the country's 1.3 billion people.

Banks were almost flat as December figures on money supply showed some "positive changes" but whether they represented a trend was unclear. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China went up slightly 0.27 percent to 3.69 yuan. Bank of China rose 0.98 percent to 3.08 yuan.

Shenyin & Wanguo Securities said in a report released Thursday that domestic bourses would outperform neighbouring markets, but uncertainties remained with the approaching holiday recess.

The two bourses will be closed from Jan 24 to Feb 1 for the traditional Spring Festival holiday.

Other Asian stocks also rose on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei average closed 1.9 percent higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 2 percent boosted by a 5.3-percent rise in HSBC, the largest European bank which had plunged for eight consecutive sessions to a decade low.

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