Sunday, February 28, 2010

China's Stocks Rise to Five-Week High, Copper Shares Advance

China’s Stocks Rise to Five-Week High; Copper Shares Advance

By Bloomberg News

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- China’s stocks rose to a five-week high as copper producers surged on concern that supplies may be disrupted after an earthquake in Chile, the world’s largest producer of the metal.

Jiangxi Copper Co. and Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Co., China’s top two producers of the metal, climbed at least 6.6 percent. China Life Insurance Co. paced gains for insurers after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recommended the industry. Poly Real Estate Group Co. led developers lower after Premier Wen Jiabao said the government will use “economic and legal measures” to rein in speculative home purchases and Chinese manufacturing expanded by the least in a year in February.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 10.11, or 0.3 percent, to 3,062.05 as of 10:30 a.m. local time, set for the highest since Jan. 25. The CSI 300 Index, measuring exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen, gained 0.4 percent to 3,062.43.

“The earthquake will offer some trading opportunities for copper stocks,” said Zhang Gang, a strategist at Central China Securities Holdings Co. in Shanghai. “During the NPC and CPPCC sessions, the market performance is likely to rise by a small margin as the government wants keep everything stable for these meetings.”

The annual legislative meetings of the National People’s Congress, and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee will start March 5 and March 3. The CPPCC advises the NPC, the legislature.

The Shanghai gauge added 2.1 percent in February as easing inflation delayed prospects for higher interest rates. Concern the government will raise borrowing costs and curb lending to cool the economy have dragged the Shanghai index down 6.6 percent this year.

Copper Rally

Jiangxi Copper, China’s biggest producer of the metal, jumped 7.1 percent to 37.51 yuan, set for the biggest gain since Oct. 19. Tongling Nonferrous Metals, the second largest, advanced 6.6 percent to 19.83 yuan. Yunnan Copper Industry Co., the third-biggest, gained 7 percent to 27.28 yuan.

Copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange surged as much as 5.6 percent to $7,600 a metric ton, the highest price since Jan. 20. The June-delivery contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed 5 percent from the previous settlement price to 61,150 yuan ($8,958) a ton. The quake which hit central Chile on the morning of Feb. 27 forced Codelco and Anglo American Plc to halt mine operations.

China Life paced gains for insurers, rising 1.5 percent to 27.38 yuan. Besides insurers, Goldman Sachs recommended China’s automobile, health-care, personal computer and Internet stocks, predicting gains from consumption growth.

Property Stocks Drop

Poly Real Estate, China’s second-largest developer by market value lost 1.3 percent to 19.65 yuan. Gemdale Corp., the fourth largest, dropped 1.3 percent to 12.54 yuan.

Premier Wen said he’s “confident” he can manage the nation’s soaring property market and keep home prices at a reasonable level during his tenure. The government aims to boost the supply of affordable housing, he said during a Webcast over the week-end.

China will continue to control the pace of lending based on demand from the real economy and prudent supervision requirements, Liu Mingkang, chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said in a speech posted on the regulator’s Web site over the week-end.

China’s manufacturing expanded by the least in a year in February, reducing the risk of overheating in the fastest- growing major economy.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to a seasonally adjusted 52, according to Li & Fung Ltd., a Hong Kong-based company that releases data for the Federation of Logistics and Purchasing. That was less than 55.8 in January and the median 55.2 estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 15 economists. A reading over 50 indicates an expansion.

The following companies were among the most active in China’s markets. Stock symbols are in brackets after companies’ names.

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. (601318 CH), China’s second- biggest insurer, rose 1.2 percent to 45.55 yuan. Ping An received approval from the nation’s cabinet for its planned acquisition of Shenzhen Development Bank Co., the Economic Observer reported on Feb. 27, citing the insurer’s vice chairman, Sun Jianyi.

Suning Appliance Co. (002024 CH), China’s biggest home appliance retailer by market value, gained 2.2 percent to 18.87 yuan after saying profit gained 33 percent last year to 2.88 billion yuan.

--Zhang Shidong. Editor: Allen Wan

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Zhang Shidong in Shanghai at +86-21-6104-7014 or
Last Updated: February 28, 2010 22:19 EST

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