Chinese stocks shrugged off fears of an interest
rate hike to hit new high Monday as more investors jumped into the equity
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index soared 3.53 percent to close at
3,710.88 points, a record high and the first close above the 3,700 mark, after a
3.92 percent rise on Friday. That marked a 38.70 percent gain so far this year
after a 130 percent rise in 2006.
The Shenzhen Composite Index
gained 3.88 percent to 1,044.82 and the Shanghai and Shenzhen 300 index of major
companies went up 4.32 percent to 3,431.31.
An investor monitors the movement of stock indexes at a
brokerage firm in Chongqing April 19,
Blue Chips led the surge. Huaneng Power International jumped the daily limit
of 10 percent to end at 13.48 yuan per share as China Petroleum and Chemical
Corporation (Sinopec) increased 3.70 percent to 11.49 yuan.
Bank of China rose 2.36 percent to 5.65 yuan, while the Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China gained 2.07 percent to 5.43 yuan. Ping An Insurance
went up 2.96 percent to 56.98 yuan. China Life suspended trading as it did not
disclose an important matter.
"The market will likely keep hitting new highs and investors may continue to
buy large caps before the launch of index futures for arbitrage
purposes," Wu Liewei, an analyst at KGI Securities, was quoted by the
Associated Press as saying.
The surge in stock price came on back due to the bullish sentiment of
investors who were eager to open accounts with securities firms.
A record high of 282,580 A-share accounts were opened Thursday, together with
349,535 investment fund accounts, according to statistics from the China
Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Limited.
It also said on Friday a total of 317,200 accounts were added, including
258,188 A-share accounts and 57,369 fund accounts.
Friday represented the eighth session in a row that saw the opening of more
than 200,000 accounts.
By 3pm Friday, the number of accounts in the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock
exchanges topped 91.159 million, according to statistics.
The rises on Friday and Monday reversed a fall of nearly five percent on
Thursday, the biggest drop since February 27 when the indexes lost nearly nine
percent, triggering a global sell-off.
Thursday's plummet was attributed to the worries the central bank will raise
interest rates to cool the economy and curb inflation.
China's gross domestic product grew 11.1 percent in the first quarter of this
year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.
Meanwhile, the consumer price index, a barometer of inflation, climbed 3.3
percent in March, the highest in more than two years and above the central
bank's target of three percent, according to the bureau. (US$1= 7.72 yuan)