Shares end at 3-month high due to robust data

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Shanghai stocks extended gains and rose to a three-month high yesterday buoyed by robust economic data that pointed to an upswing in the world's second-largest economy.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.15 percent to 2,237.98 points, the highest close since June 6. The trading volume surged to a three-year high of 23.7 billion shares while shares worth 191.1 billion yuan (US$31.3 billion) changed hands.

Industrial output rose 10.4 percent from a year earlier in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday, up from 9.7 percent in July and beating market forecasts of a 9.9 percent rise.

Fixed-asset investment soared 20.3 percent year on year from January to August and retail sales jumped 13.4 percent last month, both slightly above market forecasts.

Shares related to the pilot free trade zone continued to rise. Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone Development Co, operator of two of the four bonded zones that are in Shanghai's pilot FTZ, surged 10 percent for eight days in a row to 28.95 yuan.

Shanghai Jinqiao Export Processing Zone Development Co leapt 7.4 percent to 15.58 yuan, bringing its increase to 85 percent since the central government approved the plan to set up the FTZ in Shanghai.

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