Stock markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen advanced slightly Wednesday in large part thanks to strong gains in geothermal energy and steel stocks.
The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 4.71 points, or 0.22 percent, to close at 2,119.94; while the Shenzhen Component Index edged up 0.34 percent, or 29.82 points, to finish at 8,773.68.
Both indices opened lower Wednesday after a diminished outlook on the global economy released Tuesday by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led to contractions in the US and European markets. The Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Component fluctuated within a narrow range during the morning session although gains in papermaking and steel stocks eventually carried the benchmarks above even by the mid-day break. Strong performances from gold and non-ferrous metal stocks in the afternoon session also contributed to the day's climb.
China's insurers declined after it was reported by the Shanghai Securities News that the country's top insurance companies - including China Life Insurance Co, Ping An Insurance (Group) - had spent more than 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in capital to increase their mainland equity holdings over the last three trading days. Investors responded unfavorably to this news considering the bearish climate at the nation's bourses, said analysts. China Life Insurance Co went down 0.63 percent to 18.95 yuan. Ping An Insurance (Group) dived 0.38 percent to 42.19 yuan on the day.
Geothermal energy stocks surged after news emerged that the government would soon roll out a development plan for the industry soon. Zhejiang IDC Fluid Control Co shot to the daily limit to 10.36 yuan.
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