Chinese shares edge up

Beijing, Dec 16 (IANS) Chinese shares moved up slightly on Wednesday as investors were cautious ahead of an expected interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve.

The Fed is scheduled to release a monetary policy statement early Thursday morning Beijing time, following a two-day policy meeting.

The Fed is widely expected to hike its benchmark interest rate for the first time in nine years, which could have a significant bearing on emerging economies.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.17 percent to end at 3,516.19 points.

The smaller Shenzhen index edged up 0.13 percent, or 15.78 points, to close at 12,511.03 points.

The ChiNext Index, China’s NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, gained 0.63 percent to end at 2,763.11 points.

Total turnover of the two bourses stood at $112.7 billion.

Gainers outnumbered losers by 514 to 423 in Shanghai and 953 to 545 in Shenzhen.

Small-cap stocks led the day’s gains. Nearly 80 stocks on the two exchanges jumped by the daily limit of 10 percent.

Shares related to plastic products, furniture, porcelain, media and entertainment were the top gainers during the day.

The sub-index for the plastics sector, covering 33 firms, jumped over two percent.

Shangying Global Co., Ltd. and Zhengjiang Hexin Industry Group Co., Ltd. jumped by 9.83 percent and seven percent, respectively.

Energy firms also gained notably in the day, after China’s top economic planner said on Tuesday that it will suspend the price adjustment of domestic refined oil products in a bid to combat air pollution.

Three energy firms soared by the daily limit of 10 percent — namely Sichuang Renzhi Oilfield Technology Services Co., Ltd, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Company Ltd. and Maoming Petro-Chemical Shihua Co., Ltd.

Heavyweight Sinopec, China’s top refiner, gained two percent to close at 4.99 yuan per share.

PetroChina, the country’s largest oil and gas producer, rose 1.1 percent.

Major losers in the day were firms related to tourism, shipbuilding, natural gas and aviation device manufacturing.

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