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China: Stocks rise to highest since 2008 as airlines extend rally

[HONG KONG] Chinese shares rose to the highest level since May 2008 as airlines and commodity producers gained.

China Eastern Airlines Corp advanced 5.4 per cent, extending a three-day, 25 per cent rally as energy prices dropped to six-year lows. Pangang Group Vanadium Titanium & Resources Co. jumped by the 10 per cent daily limit to lead mining companies higher.

A gauge tracking real estate companies added 0.3 per cent. Data showed home prices dropped in more cities last month as an economic slowdown weighed on demand.

The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.3 per cent to 3,515.58 at 9.54am. The gauge has risen 73 per cent during the past 12 months, recovering from a retreat since August 2009 that had wiped out more value than any other equity market worldwide.

The CSI 300 Index rose 0.6 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng China Enterprises Index added 0.6 per cent, while the Hang Seng Index climbed 0.5 per cent. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index advanced 0.8 per cent in New York on Tuesday.

The Shanghai index is valued at 13 times estimated earnings for the next 12 months versus the five-year average of 10.

New-home prices fell in 66 of the 70 cities tracked by the government from a month earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday, compared with 64 in January.

Two interest-rate cuts in three months and the removal of property curbs have yet to revive an industry that remains a drag on economic expansion as Premier Li Keqiang set the lowest growth target in more than 15 years.


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