China shares up 0.71 percent at midday




SHANGHAI, July 16 - Chinese share prices rose 0.71 percent by midday Thursday as the market was lifted by banking stocks and strong GDP figures, dealers said.

The Shanghai Composite Index, which covers both A and B shares, was up 22.74 points at 3,211.30.

China's economy grew 7.9 percent in the second quarter of 2009, the National Bureau of Statistics said, in line with many analysts' expectations.

"The economy is rebounding and the strength of the recovery is increasing," National Bureau spokesman Li Xiaochao said at a media briefing to release the data, although he warned problems lay ahead.

Shares stayed mostly in positive territory during the morning, falling briefly on profit-taking after the government released the GDP data.

"The positive GDP report confirms investors' perception that the economy is improving, while the government's cautious take on data indicates monetary and economic policies to stay in place," Guosen Securities analyst Tang Xiaosheng told Dow Jones Newswires.

The Shanghai A-share index gained 23.91 points, or 0.71 percent, to 3,371.20, while the Shenzhen A-share index added 6.57 points, or 0.58 percent, to 1,139.38.