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Petrochina lifts Shanghai but Hong Kong lags on Alcoa, tight credit

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currency_3 Jan 12, 2010 (Chinavestor) The Shanghai Composite Index advanced +61.22 points  or +1.91% on Tuesday to 3,273.97 at the close as index heavy weight Petrochina (SHA:601857) rose over 4% for the day. The introduction of index futures is increasing volume for liquid, large cap stocks - as is the case with the largest market cap stock listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. But H-shares of Petrochina (HKG:0857) shed -0.79% in Hong Kong on Tuesday following news that Chinese banks are required to set aside more cash due to the increase in the reserve ratio. Another sign of the credit tightening is the increase of the interest rate on the one year treasury-bill, from 1.76% to 1.84%. Another concern for the Hang Seng Index is the worse than expected results of Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA). Top U.S. aluminum maker reported a Q4 net loss of $277 million vs. expectations that the company swung back to a profit. Aluminum Corp. of China (HKG:2600) fell in HK following the news but China Mobile (HKG:0941) bucked the trend with a +2.4% advance.

Index futures point to a lower open following Alcoa's numbers but with earnings rolling out, mood of investors can change in an instant. Investors will have to embrace themselves for a volatile market day.

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The global shipping ETF remains on fire - but for how long is really a question at this point. Most Chinese indices back tracked from previous highs - today's big gain in Shanghai hasn't made up for last week's losses yet. Expect a weak opening for Chinese ETFs on Tuesday morning.

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