Li's words reassure investors

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Shanghai's key share index rose for the fifth straight day Thursday to end at a three-month high after Premier Li Keqiang pledged to push ahead with reforms.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.64 percent to 2,255.61 points.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Dalian, Li said China will promote reforms and innovation to restructure its economy as well as unveil measures to lift domestic demand and stimulate the markets.

He said China will meet this year's economic growth target as business sentiment has improved after robust economic data for July and August.

Sun Jianbo, analyst at China Galaxy Securities, said in a report that reform will act as a catalyst for China's economic upgrading and the ‘‘high expectations for reform will continue to drive the market ahead.''

Financial stocks gained after Li said the government will continue with market-oriented financial reforms, liberalize interest rates and work toward the free convertibility of the yuan.

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank jumped 8.7 percent to 12.25 yuan. Hua Xia Bank rose 4.2 percent to 8.16 yuan. The Industrial Bank added 3.1 percent to 12.69 yuan. Lenders also gained from the central bank's injection of 10 billion yuan into the money market via 14-day reverse repurchase agreements.

Cyclical shares in cement, coal and steel sectors fell after a recent surge in their prices as ‘‘the market is due for profit-taking after continuous gains,'' said Western Securities.

Anhui Conch Cement Co, China's biggest cement firm, dropped 1.3 percent to 16.71 yuan. Shanxi Lanhua Sci-Tech Venture Co declined 1.7 percent to close at 14.25 yuan.

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