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Shares surge more than 8%
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Chinese shares surged sharply on Monday by 8.13 percent following rallies in neighbouring markets and news of improving weather in the country's snow-hit regions.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 8.13 percent to close at 4,672.17 points. On Friday, the index dropped 1.43 percent to 4,320.77, its lowest closing in six months.

The turnover reached 111 billion yuan (15.44 billion U.S. dollars).

The Shenzhen Component Index rose 1254.8 points, or 7.95 percent, to close at 17031.67.

Only two losses were registered on the two bourses.

Liang Guoheng, a Rising Securities analyst, said state policies play a major role in the stock market, and the newly-approved stock funds last Friday indicated the government would inject more capital into the market.

China Securities Regulatory Commission suspended the launch of new funds late last year in reaction to the surging domestic stock market. The Shanghai Composite Index nearly doubled last year.

In addition, the Central Meteorological Station said on Monday the snow-hit regions could see intermittent snow and rain this week, which could ease the on-going snow chaos.

Chinalco (Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd.), the country's largest aluminum company, increased 10 percent only 50 minutes after the morning opening to end at 32.34 yuan. The company acquired a 12 percent stake in British mining giant Rio Tinto PLC on Friday along with U.S. Alcoa Inc.

Nonferrous metal companies all jumped sharply as Jiangxi Copper Co., Ltd. and Yunan Copper Co., Ltd. both surged to the daily limit to end at 45.47 yuan and 44.2 yuan, respectively.

The coal sector increased 9.29 percent, given the on-going snow havoc disrupted transport and increased demand.

Heavyweight shares such as China National Petroleum Corporation jumped 8.07 percent to 26.39 yuan, and Sinopec increased 9.98 percent to 18.08.

Other Asian stock markets climbed on Monday on improved market sentiment after the Wall Street rally. Japanese shares surged 2.69 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, while in Hong Kong, the blue chip Hang Seng Index rose 3.77 percent.

The domestic market has experienced volatile trading in recent weeks, with shares sinking more than seven percent on Jan. 22, the largest percentage loss in 7.5 months.

More than 60 percent of the investment funds in China had losses in the fourth quarter that totaled 72.1 billion yuan. Figures from TX Investment Consulting Co. indicated that 215 funds managed by 58 companies disclosed losses in their fourth-quarter reports. The losses were the first for Chinese funds since the end of June 2005 when the stock market began a bull run.

In currencies, the central parity of the RMB against U.S. dollar was 7.1923  yuan to one dollar, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System. It hit a new high to a central parity rate of 7.1853 yuan to one dollar on Thursday, following an overnight key interest rate cut in the United States.

(Xinhua News Agency February 5, 2008)

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