Copper leads markets higher

Updated: 2011-01-01 10:18

By Irene Shen (China Daily)

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Copper leads markets higher

A brokerage in Haikou, Hainan province. Chinese stock indices rose on the last trading day of 2010, but the market remained one of the world's worst performers over the course of the year. [Photo /  China Daily]

SHANGHAI - China's stocks rose on Friday, paring the worst annual loss among major global equity markets, as metal prices rallied and investors speculated the declines of 2010 were excessive given the outlook for the nation's economy.

Jiangxi Copper Co and Yunnan Copper Industry Co jumped more than 7 percent after copper prices advanced to a record.

China Southern Airlines Co led gains for carriers as the yuan climbed on Thursday to the strongest level against the dollar since the end of 1993, reducing the second-biggest Chinese carrier's dollar-based debt costs. Ping An Insurance Co paced an advance for insurers on speculation that further interest-rate increases will boost investment income.

Related readings:
Copper leads markets higher Copper up as hopes rise for global economy
Copper leads markets higher Copper price high but spot market trading weak
Copper leads markets higher Copper goes up for second day
Copper leads markets higher CNMC kicks off production at copper mine in Zambia

"China has not been a very good performer relative to other countries," said Michael Yoshikami, who oversees $1 billion at YCMNet Advisors in Walnut Creek, California. "The dampening has already happened. Once the dust settles and the Chinese government has taken the action it needs to, investors will feel more comfortable and that's why Chinese stocks will rally."

The Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks the largest Chinese stock exchange, added 48.5, or 1.8 percent, to 2808.08 at the 3 pm close. The CSI 300 rose 2.1 percent to 3,128.26.

The Shanghai gauge's advance for a third day narrowed its decline for the year to 14 percent, the worst performer among the 14 biggest world benchmark indices, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

It's the biggest drop since 2008, when the global financial crisis crimped the nation's exports. The index jumped 80 percent in 2009 as a $586 billion stimulus package and record new lending helped the Asian economy to recover.

China's purchasing managers' index, which tracks manufacturing growth, fell in December to the weakest level in three months, according to an index compiled by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics, a specialist compiler of business surveys.

However, many economists are optimistic about China's growth prospects in 2011.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China's top think-tank, said in early December that the domestic economy could expand by 10 percent year-on-year in 2011. The Bank of China's International Finance Institute forecast on Wednesday that the Chinese economy could grow by 9.5 percent next year.

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