Shanghai shares eke out small gains

Market sentiment buoyed by Shanghai's plan for a free trade port and Chinese central bank efforts to boost liquidity in the market

Shanghai stocks edged up today as market sentiment was lifted by Shanghai's plan to build a free trade port and the Chinese central bank efforts to boost liquidity in the financial market.

The Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.06 percent to close at 3380.70 points.

Investors were optimistic on news that Shanghai is planning a free trade port which is awaiting approval from the central government.

"Shanghai's listed port operators and trading firms, including Shanghai Material Trading Co, Shanghai International Port and CTS International Logistics Co, all jumped on news Shanghai was considering developing a free port to boost international trade," Reuters reported.

Brokerages also said the free trade port will have a positive impact on listed companies. Sinolink Securities said in a note the development of a free trade port will accelerate the distribution of goods from overseas markets to Shanghai and act as a catalyst to Shanghai's shipping and logistics enterprises.

Zhongtai Securities said in a note that the free trade port will bring investment opportunities in real estate, logistics, tourism and manufacturing sectors, such as CTS International Logistics Co Ltd and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone Group Co Ltd.

Sentiment also picked up after the People's Bank of China boosted liquidity by injecting 200 billion yuan (US$30.1 billion) into the financial market through reverse repurchase agreements today, according to a statement published on its official website.

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