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  • Index falls on liquidity crunch and outlook
    Shanghai stocks yesterday fell for the first time in five days amid concerns about China's economic outlook and month-end liquidity crunch.
    The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.27 percent to 2,317.75 points.
    "Optimism over economic growth depressed the market, especially cyclical stocks which are sensitive to business cycles," New Times Securities said yesterday.
    The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Wednesday joined the International Monetary Fund to cut China growth forecast this year to 7.8 percent, down from 8.5 percent. The IMF also slashed its view for China's 2013 economic growth to 7.75 percent from 8 percent.
    Shares also fell on a month-end liquidity crunch. The seven-day repurchase rate, a gauge of interbank funding availability, gained 47.40 basis points, the biggest rise in over a week, to 4.14 percent in Shanghai yesterday as banks were accumulating cash to meet month-end requirements.
    Steel prices dropped on weak demand. Fushun Special Steel Co fell 2.2 percent to 5.69 yuan (93 US cents). Xining Special Steel Co declined 1.5 percent to 4.66 yuan. Inner Mongolia BaoTou Steel Union Co shed 1.4 percent to close at 4.86 yuan.--(5/31)

  • Shanghai to build 10,000 extra parking spots in city
    Shanghai will build more than 10,000 parking berths this year as the number of private cars in the city soar while the space to park the vehicles are limited, local traffic administration said yesterday.
    Traffic officials said that parking problem was still a major headache despite their best efforts.
    Those who do not pay the required parking fees or park their cars illegally will be recorded in the city credit system, officials said as they cracked down on illegal parking that only made traffic worse in some thoroughfares.
    The traffic authorities said that three more Parking and Riding (P R) lots will be built in the suburbs, which link to the subways going downtown. So far the city has 6 large P R lots citywide with space for 2,300 cars near lines 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9.
    The underground places of newly built green areas will also be used as parking space, officials said.
    Experts and officials had estimated that the public parking gap stands at more than 300,000 berths and "is still growing". So far Shanghai has about 780,000 public parking berths in total. Since 2011, more than 50,000 public berths have been added. By 2015, there will a shortage of 45,000 berths in the Pudong New Area alone.
    The Shanghai-registered vehicles number more than 2.6 million, out of which 1.4 million are private cars, the local traffic police said yesterday. About 220,000 private cars will be added this year. The increase, and the out-of-town vehicles, forces many to park their cars at no-parking spaces and slapped with tickets.--(5/30)

  • Taiwan stores in city deny using maleic acid
    Two Taiwanese beverage and desserts chain stores in the city have refuted claims that their products are laced with the poisonous maleic acid that led to the widespread recall of their starch-based products.
    They said their products did not contain toxic additives and their materials were purchased in Chinese mainland.
    The Meet Fresh (Xian Yu Xian) stores in Shanghai showed reports from testing agencies which revealed their products were free of maleic acid, while the Huaihai Road store of Yu Gui Ren said it bought its starch from Gansu Province.
    The Shanghai Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau said maleic acid is not included in checks done on the national standard. It said it is not an additive that is usually used in manufacturing food products.
    "We will pay close attention to the local market and follow its development, and all our tests so far are based on national standard," said Shen Weimin, deputy director of the bureau.
    The additive is similar to plasticizer, which has been added into the standard after recent scandals. Shen said local authorities may expand the index in their checks.
    But maleic acid is widely available online as food additives on e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, and it could be purchased from any food additive companies.
    It costs at about 20 yuan (US$3.2) per kilogram. Standard starch costs four to six times of the toxic substance.
    A worker at the Tuoxin Food Additive Co Ltd in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, said the company sells the substance and it can be added into food.
    Maleic acid can add viscosity and elasticity in taste, but long term consumption of high levels of maleic acid can result in kidney damage. Food watchdog in Taiwan has so far recalled and sealed 206 tons of starch products that were found to have contained maleic acid.--(5/29)

  • Tourism chief: ticket discounts to become regular
    Discounts offered by the city's sightseeing spots will be made regular, Shanghai Tourism Administration Director Yang Jingsong said yesterday.
    Shanghai has two pricing systems, one for public scenic spots, and the other for privately-run scenic spots. The government can dictate prices for public scenic spots such Shanghai Zoo, Shanghai Botanical Garden, and Soong Ching-ling's Residence, but not for private venues like the Oriental Pearl Tower and sightseeing decks atop the Jinmao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center.
    After China's Tourism Law is enacted, the city will hold public hearings whenever it plans to raise ticket prices for public scenic spots. A price raise must be announced six months before it comes into effect.--(5/28)

  • City further limits plate prices
    Shanghai will further lower the price ceiling for license plates, the traffic authority said yesterday.
    Next month, the upward limit for the first round of bidding will be set at 77,300 yuan (US$12,607), down 2,600 yuan from this month's maximum, according to Sun Jianping, director of the Shanghai Municipal Transport and Port Authority.
    The price ceiling for June will be the weighted average of the average successful bids from last November to March.
    The limit at this month's auction was based on the weighted average bids from last December to March.
    The new policy was implemented in April. Officials said it was designed to check irrational price hikes.
    In the first three months of this year, the price of a license plate soared 32.5 percent and surpassed 90,000 yuan for the first time, sparking many complaints from the public.
    Sun said the government is mulling plans to optimize car plate bidding rules by controlling the supply, stabilizing prices, and cracking down on speculation.
    Car plate prices dropped for the second consecutive month on Saturday, dropping more than 10,000 yuan from two months ago to 80,803 yuan.
    In March, Vice Mayor Jiang Ping outlined three back-up plans should the current ones fail to reverse the upward trajectory in plate prices.--(5/27)

  • Work starts on tallest Disneyland castle
    Construction began today on Shanghai Disneyland's main castle, setting another milestone in the development of the amusement park.
    The Enchanted Storybook Castle, designed to be the world's tallest and largest Disney castle, is going to be the centerpiece of Shanghai Disneyland. Workers today sank the first pile into ground to build the castle's foundation.
    The Enchanted Storybook Castle, in the heart of the theme park, will combine entertainment, dining and performance into one. Its winding staircase will lead visitors on a "Once Upon a Time Adventure" with unforgettable experiences.
    The castle will also delight visitors with a boat ride that goes through a secret underground chamber in which fountains of light will dance in shimmering pools and surround visitors with magic, music and color.--(5/25)

  • Pudong seals 50% of land sales money
    Shanghai's Pudong New Area contributed half of the proceeds of the city's robust land sales so far this year, according to latest market data.
    As of yesterday 65 land parcels, excluding those for public uses, had been sold in the city, fetched 40 billion yuan (US$6.45 billion), Century 21 China Real Estate said in a report. Land sales earned 74 billion yuan in 2012.
    "An abundant supply of high-quality parcels in Pudong, particularly released over the past few weeks, helped boost momentum in the local market," said Eric Luo, a Century 21 researcher. "The trend is going to continue at least for some time."
    In the first 23 days of May, 10 parcels in Pudong were sold for 7.76 billion yuan. They accounted for 59 percent by volume and 78 percent by value of the city's total land sales during the same period, Century 21 said.
    Till the end of June, four more land parcels in Pudong will be released.--(5/24)

  • PM2.5 emerging as major pollutant in city
    The PM2.5 particles are becoming a major pollutant in the city, surpassing former culprits like sulfur and nitrogen dioxides, Shanghai officials said yesterday.
    PM2.5 refers to airborne particles which are smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. They are the main cause of urban smog and are harmful to human health.
    Between January and May, the city recorded 42 heavily polluted days with the PM2.5 density reaching the highest 200 micrograms per cubic meter on May 11. The city's Air Pollution Index rates it as "serious pollution."
    "The former major pollutants ¡ª sulfur and nitrogen dioxides ¡ª have been decreasing since 2008, but the PM2.5 density has been rising," said Bai Guoqiang, deputy chief engineer with the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.
    The average density of PM2.5 is 56 microgram per cubic meter, some 60 percent over the national standard.
    During the most severely polluted days in January, the PM2.5 density reached 85 microgram per cubic meter and surged to its highest at 201.
    "Some 80 percent of the PM2.5 pollution comes from the city, especially from traffic and heavy industries," Bai said.
    Flying dust, power plants and agricultural produce are other major pollutants.
    The burning of straws, sandstorms and firecrackers add to the city's pollution as well, Bai said.
    The factories in Shanghai's neighboring cities are also a major contributor to the poor air quality in the city, Zhang Quan, director of the bureau, said.
    "One of the major culprits of the country's air pollution is the densely distributed chemical factories in east and central Chinese cities," Zhang said.
    He said the city must work with the neighboring provinces to curb emissions as it is difficult for Shanghai alone to improve the quality of air .
    He proposed establishing a regional commission to supervise factories and a system to alert neighboring cities whenever heavy pollutants are detected in the air. Shanghai will start issuing PM2.5 forecasts later this year, initially offering 24-hour forecasts before progressing to 48-hour outlook. --(5/23)

  • Forecast calls for warmer weather
    The weather is expected to heat up with the temperature rising above 30 degrees Celsius by midweek, meteorologists said.
    Today will be mostly cloudy with a high of 29 degrees and a low of 19 degrees, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
    Tomorrow should remain cloudy with the mercury ranging between 20 and 29 degrees.
    The bureau also said that Wednesday will be mainly sunny with a forecast high of at least 30 degrees.
    Meanwhile, air quality declined yesterday with the end of the rain, according to the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.
    The air quality index reached 113, or "lightly polluted," at 3pm yesterday with PM2.5 the chief pollutant.
    "The field of pressure is weak these days and the wind is not strong," said Fu Yi, a chief service officer of the weather bureau.
    Fu said the smog may improve today as the day progresses.
    Shanghai will start issuing PM2.5 forecasts later this year, initially offering 24-hour predictions before going to 48-hour forecasts, according to the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.
    PM2.5 refers to airborne particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. They are the main cause of urban smog and can harm human health.
    Only 59 days, or 65 percent, in the first quarter were not polluted while there were 10 days with heavy pollution, according to the bureau.--(5/20)

  • New payment option for taxis
    Shanghai taxis will accept four new payment cards, including Unionpay's Quick Pass and Shanghai City Tour Card, beginning in July.
    About 12,000 cabs will accept the cards.
    Passengers who use one of the four cards will be charged an additional 1 yuan (16 US cents) for fares less than 100 yuan. For those with fares above 100 yuan, the fee will be 1 percent of the total.
    Traffic authorities said the additional payment options can solve problems such as a driver not having change or the possibility of counterfeit money being exchanged.
    Officials also said it can help passengers avoid cloned taxis, or illegal taxis, as they can not use the POS machines.
    The other payment cards are Sandpay and Smartpass.
    POS terminals will be added to the taxis offering the new payment option. The majority of the cabs with the POS terminals will belong to Qiangsheng Taxi Co, the city's largest cab operator.
    "More choices are always good for customers," said Lu Fei, who takes cabs occasionally.
    Other taxi companies said they would consider offering more payment options.
    The payment idea was first introduced in 2003, but it didn't catch on as passengers didn't like paying the additional fee.--(5/18)

  • New tech, upgrades in mobile industry
    Shanghai residents will have access to a faster mobile network, upgraded Wi-Fi frequency, handset-based wallets and an intelligent transport system offered by the three domestic telecommunication carriers.
    China Mobile, the world's biggest telco, will announce the latest 4G network development and services in Shanghai today, World¡¯s Telecommunications Day.
    The 4G network allows users to access the Internet 20 to 50 times faster compared with current 3G services. Shanghai is one of the major cities for China Mobile to first test and adopt the 4G network nationwide.
    Shanghai is also ready to unveil an upgraded local Wi-Fi network which is equipped with improved frequency so that more capacity is offered to allow for more Wi-Fi services, the Shanghai Radio Administration Bureau said yesterday.
    Meanwhile, China Unicom has upgraded the local 3G network to advanced HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access), which provides bandwidth of 21 megabytes per second, 10 times faster than the current network.
    The telcos have launched services to facilitate smart transport, such as Wi-Fi on buses and quick response (QR) codes for tracking real-time bus schedules. The QR codes have been introduced at some local bus stops on trial to allow passengers to check the expected arrival time of buses so that they can plan their commute.
    China Unicom, the country's second biggest telco, has launched smartphones with NFC (near field communications) function to promote mobile payments such as buying beverages and pay bus or metro tickets.
    In the fixed-line sector, China Telecom has improved broadband speed by 10 times in the past two years.--(5/17)

  • Jahwa hits 10% daily trading cap amid row
    Shanghai Jahwa United Co, a local cosmetics maker, tumbled by the 10 percent daily trading cap to close at 62.99 yuan (US$10.25) yesterday amid a boardroom dispute at its parent company.
    Its shares plunged ahead of an annual board meeting scheduled today. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.35 percent yesterday. Jahwa United dropped more than 15 percent this week after media reported the boardroom infighting, leading to a 4.9 billion yuan loss in its market value in two days. Jahwa United suspended trading of its shares on Tuesday for an "important undisclosed issue."
    The listed firm said it's business as usual.
    Ge Wenyao, chairman of Jahwa United, yesterday called for a truce in the dispute with controlling investor Ping An Insurance Group which owns 26.8 percent of the listed unit. Ge, 65, who served the company for 28 years, was removed as chairman of Jahwa Group on Monday, but remained as chairman of Jahwa United. He may address the dispute at the meeting today, the China Securities Journal said. --(5/16)

  • Shanghai inflation at 2.2% in April
    Shanghai registered an inflation rate of 2.2 percent in April while its economy strengthened, showing resilience while China's overall economic performance fell short of expectation.
    Shanghai's Consumer Price Index, the main gauge of inflation, rose 2.2 percent in both April and March, the Shanghai Statistics Bureau said today. It compared with China's average of 2.4 percent last month.
    Industrial production expanded 1 percent from a year earlier in April to 258.5 billion yuan (US$41.7 billion), reversing a loss of 1.9 percent in March.
    Fixed-asset investment jumped 13 percent year on year to 138.3 billion yuan in the first four months, up from a pace of 10.3 percent in the first quarter.
    "Shanghai's inflation remains tamed and the city's economic recovery is more solid than elsewhere in the country," said Li Maoyu, an analyst at Changjiang Securities Co. "Although Shanghai's growth pace is slower than many other cities, it leads in growth quality and efficiency of industrial restructuring."
    The city's gross domestic product expanded 7.8 percent on an annual basis in the first quarter, higher than last year's 7.5 percent increase and the national average of 7.7 percent.
    Although the rate put Shanghai among domestic cities with slowest GDP growth, Shanghai officials said it was a result of active industrial upgrading for longer-term growth.
    With only 0.06 percent of China's land, 1.8 percent of its population and 1.7 percent of its investment, Shanghai contributes more than 4 percent of China¡¯s GDP.
    Shanghai set an economic growth target of 7.5 percent this year as it tries to accelerate industrial restructuring, increase people's income, and reduce pollution, Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong said earlier, stressing a shift to "growth quality."--(5/15)

  • Shanghai sales up 30%
    New home purchases rebounded in Shanghai last week.
    Sales of new residential properties, excluding government-funded affordable housing, rose 30 percent to 218,600 square meters across the city in the seven days to Sunday, according to a Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co report.
    The average cost was 20,700 yuan (US$3,339) a square meter, 11 percent down on the previous week.--(5/14)

  • New trams planned for suburbs, towns
    New, bigger trams will be introduced in some large residential communities to provide more public transport options in Shanghai's suburbs and new towns.
    The electric-powered trams will be environmentally friendly and energy efficient. They will create less noise than Metro trains as rubber shock absorbers will be used on the wheels, said Changchun Railway Vehicles Co, which is manufacturing the trams.
    The new trams will have a capacity of 368 people on four carriages. The maximum operating speed will be 80 kilometers per hour.
    Shanghai plans to build 600 to 800 kilometers of tracks for the trams in the future.
    Smaller trams are already used in Zhangjiang High-tech Park in the Pudong New Area. They cater to commuters shuttling between Metro Line 2 and nearby office buildings.
    Residents in the suburbans and new towns often complain about the lack of public transport options linking their communities to Metro stations.--(5/13)

  • Most costly land plot sold since 2012
    One of the three land parcels at the former World Expo site in Pudong New Area auctioned yesterday became the most expensive plot sold in Shanghai in over a year.
    A subsidiary of Far Eastern New Century Corp, a Taiwan-based conglomerate, paid 978 million yuan (US$157.7 million) for the 6,100-square-meter parcel. The average gross floor area price for the plot was 40,079 yuan a square meter, or 48 percent above its starting price.
    "The plot purchased by Far Eastern New Century is the most costly land parcel sold in Shanghai since 2012 but it is no surprise to me because of its good location," said Zhang Wanyu, an analyst with, operator of the country's largest real estate website.
    The auction also saw a 7,588-square-meter site acquired for 1.2 billion yuan, or 39,932 yuan per square meter, and a 6,147-square-meter plot bought for 665 million yuan, or 27,075 yuan per square meter.
    Both these two sites are designated for office and retail.--(5/10)

  • Tesco store to shut on end of lease
    British retailer Tesco will close a shop in Shanghai's Jing'an District at the end of this month when its lease ends amid speculation that rising rent may be a factor.
    The retailer will terminate operations at the Tesco outlet sited at the crossroad of Yongyuan Road and Zhenning Road, which opened in July 2003, when its lease expires, the company said in a text message to members.
    But rising rent in the area may have forced the closure of the Tesco store, according to people familiar with the matter. Tesco officials didn't respond to an e-mail seeking comment yesterday.
    Earlier media reports said another Tesco outlet in the city's Changning District will also close in August, but the retailer didn't confirm the reports.
    Tesco has 113 outlets in China, with 23 stores in Shanghai. Last year, it added 13 new stores and closed five in the country, a drop from the 16 new openings in 2011.
    Foreign retailers have had to adjust their strategies with slower expansion after rising labor cost and rent squeezed their profits.
    US retail giant Wal-Mart said in April that it will close its Minhang outlet in Shanghai together with another two in Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces in a bid to strengthen its sales network.
    Wal-Mart's growth slowed in 2012 when it added 30 new stores in China, down from 50 new outlets in 2010 and 41 in 2011.--(5/9)

  • Shanghai shares up 0.48%, helped by export data
    Shanghai stocks climbed four days in a run today after China reported better-than-expected export growth in April.
    The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.48 percent to 2,241.54 points, the highest since March 27.
    Chinese exports jumped 14.7 percent to 1.17 trillion yuan (US$187 billion) in April, the General Administration of Customs said today. That compared with a 9.2 percent median forecast by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News and a 10 percent increase in March.
    "We expect the composite index to rise in the second quarter as China has shown signs of economic recovery and potential recovery in Japan and the United States will help boost Chinese exports," said Chen Li, chief strategist of UBS.
    A survey released yesterday by Franklin Templeton showed that nearly 70 percent of Chinese investors believe the market will go up this year, compared with 11 percent last year.
    The survey was conducted in January and 500 Chinese investors were polled.
    China CNR Corp and CSR Corp, the country's two biggest train manufacturers, gained 1.2 percent and 0.7 percent respectively after the China Securities Journal revealed that Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region plans to invest 16.8 billion yuan in railway development.--(5/8)

  • Vast transport network to link Disneyland
    A vast public transport network is in the works to serve the expected flood of visitors to the Shanghai Disneyland, officials said yesterday.
    A hub at the west gate of the amusement park will comprise five bus terminals, car and taxi parking lots, wash rooms and six lounges. The 77,492-square-meter behemoth will stretch from Xihuan Road to a large square of the Shanghai Disneyland, officials said. Some amusement facilities, shops and trees will line the hub.
    The city government is inviting tenders for the construction of the hub that is budgeted at 182 million yuan (US$22.54 million). The project should be completed within a year.
    Metro Line 11 will also be extended from Luoshan Road Station to Disneyland with stops at Kangqiao Road E. Station and Hengxin Road Station.
    The extended 9.2-kilometer Disney section will use six-car trains with maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour. Ten such trains will initially operate on the line. About 7.7km will be over land while the final stretch will be underground. Passengers can enter the park through an underground passage.
    The Disneyland Station itself will be an added attraction with artificial lake and covered with tress and shrubs and good use of natural light.
    Two broad slopes will be built on both sides of the stations for wheelchair-bound visitors. The size and decorations will be designed keeping children in mind.
    Road construction is already underway outside the amusement park that will connect to the Middle Ring Road in the Pudong New Area. The new elevated highway, costing more than 10 billion yuan (US$1.62 billion), is being built between the Jungong Road Tunnel and Gaoke Road M. It will be completed in 2015, just in time for the opening of the park. An upgrade of the super capacitor buses that were used at the World Expo 2010 Shanghai may be used to shuttle visitors.
    Shanghai Disneyland, Disney's first theme park on China's mainland, is expected to attract 7.3 million visitors a year when it opens in 2015.
    It has recruited more than 300 Chinese professionals ahead of the opening, with at least 5,000 more to join when it opens in two years time. --(5/7)

  • Breakthrough made in stem cell research
    Fudan University scientists have successfully turned human embryonic stem cells into specific neural cells. The new technology enabled mice with lost memory to regain learning ability.
    Their achievement indicates that human's stem cell can implant itself in the brain, which raises hope for the treatment of nervous system diseases.
    The discovery was published in the latest issue of Nature Biotechnology, university officials said today.--(5/6)

  • Out-of-town moped tags may be banned
    The majority of the citys scooters and mopeds wouldnt be able to legally ride on Shanghais streets if city legislators approve a local proposal to ban such vehicles that use out-of-town license tags.
    Many scooters and mopeds already are illegal because they use fake out-of-town plates.
    The measure would make road safety enforcement easier for police by banning hard-to-trace, out-of-town plates even if real. Officials said it would help police eliminate souped-up mopeds that are more powerful and dangerous and often use fake plates to avoid detection.
    The move also could affect expats, who often favor scooters and mopeds, police said.
    There are more than 2.7 million registered electric mopeds in the city, with an annual growth of 158,000. But more than 3 million have no genuine license tags or out-of-town ones, according to Guo Jianrong, secretary general of the Shanghai Bicycle Industry Association.
    "The city will have a easier traffic law enforcement environment after the over-standard mopeds and those with fake plates are removed," said Sun Jianping, director with Shanghai Transport and Port Administration.
    Mopeds and scooters, less powerful than motorcycles, are limited to speeds below 20 kilometers per hour and weight of no more than 40 kilograms. They can be modified to boost speeds to 60kph to 70kph.
    The vehicles were involved in more than 345,000 traffic violations last year.
    More than 50 people were killed in nearly 300 moped-related mishaps in 2012.--(5/4)

  • Taxi bookings drop with fee
    CAB booking volumes saw a decline yesterday as big taxi operators again started to charge booking fees of 4 yuan (65 US cents) after suspending them early this year.
    The companies, however, expected bookings to gradually pick up again as riders get accustomed to the fees.
    "It's still too early to tell whether the bookings will be affected by the fee," said Gao Yang, director of the call and dispatch center of Shanghai Qiangsheng Taxi Co, the city's largest operator.
    Qiangsheng, among the first to resume the fee, said a decline of about 15 percent in booking volumes was reported yesterday, compared with the work day just before the May Day holiday.
    The city has about 50,000 cabs, some 67 percent of which are in a booking-dispatching system. The centers handle 57,600 taxi services on average per day.
    Gao said some companies were still off work yesterday, which also may have contributed to the decrease.
    While most people still prefer to hail a cab, some said booking services are necessary.
    A senior citizen surnamed Sun said she would pay the extra fee because it's difficult to wave down a taxi during the rush hour and she also needs door-to-door service.
    Half of the 4 yuan fee is given to the driver and the other half used to maintain taxi operators' dispatch centers.
    Fast-growing smartphone applications that also allow for booking a cab.
    Big companies like Dazhong and Qiangsheng have developed their own smartphone apps. A new booking platform using the popular WeChat service and the Qiangsheng call center also opened yesterday. The new service also charges a 4 yuan fee.--(5/3)

  • Chinese stocks drop on weaker PMI
    Shanghai stocks declined today as reports showed China's manufacturing activity cooled in April, fuelling concerns that China's economic recovery is losing momentum.
    The key Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.17 percent, or 3.79 points, to 2,174.12 points. Turnover was 59.9 billion yuan (US$9.7 billion) at the trading close.
    HSBC's China Purchasing Managers' Index, a gauge of manufacturing activity slanted more toward private and export-oriented firms, fell to 50.4 in April, HSBC Holdings PLC said today. A reading of 50 or higher indicates the activity is expanding.
    The reading stayed in the expansionary territory for a six consecutive month but declined from March's 51.6.
    The sub-index for new export orders fell for the first time this year to 48.4 from 50.5 in March, suggesting sluggish demand in the euro zone and the United States may pose threat to China's economic recovery.
    A separate report by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing yesterday also showed the official manufacturing PMI in state-owned firms fell to 50.6 in April from 50.9 in March.
    "The valuation of A shares was depressed by strengthened uncertainty over China's short-term economic growth after China posted weaker-than-expected PMI data," a report by Guotai Junan Securities said.
    "Uncertainties about the regulation on the financial market and economic growth model under the new government also weighed on the stock market," the report said.
    China Shenhua Energy Co, the nation's biggest coal producer, lost among coal producers, falling 1.1 percent to 20.27 yuan, after posting a 1.2 percent year-on-year decline in first-quarter net profit. Shanxi Lanhua Sci-Tech Venture Co fell 3.8 percent to 17.04 yuan. Shanxi Lu'an Environmental Energy Development Co lost 2 percent to 15.64 yuan.
    "Coal demand from downstream industries remained sluggish due to economic weakness and profitability of coal producers will continue to fall as coal price is expected to decline further during the off-season," China Credit Rating Co said in a report today.--(5/2)



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