Chinese stock indexes rose to the highest in 10 months. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (600028) led oil shares higher after Asia's biggest refiner said its oil production rose last year.
``As Sinopec's oil production business rose, it will definitely benefit from high oil prices and improved earnings,'' said Zhang Qi, an analyst at Haitong Securities Co. in Shanghai.
China Vanke Co. paced gains after it agreed to buy control of a property developer in Beijing.
The Shanghai Composite Index, which covers yuan-denominated A shares and foreign-currency B shares, rose 18.23, or 1.5 percent, to 1251.58 at 3 p.m. local time close, the highest close since March 16 and completing a three-day, 4.1 percent gain.
The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller market, added 2.96, or 1 percent, to 304.95, a level not seen since April 14.
China Petroleum, Asia's biggest oil refiner, also known as Sinopec, advanced 0.25 yuan, or 5.2 percent, to 5.08, the biggest gain since July 26 and the highest close since July 21, 2004.
The refiner raised crude oil production 1.7 percent to 278.8 million barrels last year, and natural gas 7.2 percent to 221.9 billion cubic feet, the company said yesterday. Crude oil processing grew at the slowest pace in three years in 2005 as the cost of its raw material climbed. Sinopec increased refining of oil 5.3 percent to 139.9 million metric tons last year.
Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co., China's largest maker of ethylene, rose 0.02 yuan, or 0.5 percent, to 4.48. Sinopec Yizheng Chemical Fibre Co., China's largest chemical fiber maker, gained 0.06 yuan, or 2 percent, to 3.05.
China's government caps prices of gasoline and diesel, limiting Sinopec's ability to pass on higher costs to customers as crude oil surged.
Vanke, the biggest property developer in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, rose 0.06 yuan, or 1.3 percent, to 4.60.
Vanke is buying 60 percent of Beijing Chaowan Property Development Center for 389 million yuan ($48 million), the company said in a statement. Chaowan has 1.9 billion yuan of assets and 736,173 square meters of land that can be developed, Vanke said.
Other property stocks also gained. Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi- Tech Park Development Co., a real estate developer, rose 0.12 yuan, or 3.5 percent, to 3.53. Shanghai Shimao Co., which is owned by property tycoon Xu Rongmao, added 0.07 yuan, or 1.8 percent, to 3.94.
The Shanghai B-share index, which covers U.S. dollar- denominated shares, had the biggest two-day gain since March 5, 2001, on speculation hard-currency B shares will merge with Class A shares. The measure gained 9.3 percent to 84.808, extending yesterday's 9.1 percent jump.
Elsewhere, China Eastern Airlines Corp., the nation's third- largest carrier by fleet size, slid 0.06 yuan, or 2.3 percent, to 2.54. The carrier said 2005 profit probably fell by more than 50 percent from a year earlier, citing the sluggish season for traveling in November and December and high oil prices.
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