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Chinese stocks climb to new 7-year high

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BEIJING, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese shares rose on Friday with the major index again hitting a record high in seven years.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was up 2.2 percent to finish at 4,287.3 points after surpassing the 4,300-point mark at one point.

Given the continued economic slowdown, a bullish stock market could support the real economy and provide more room for an economic overhaul.

"The government has remained positive toward the stock market, which is the biggest push for this rising streak," Sun Xiwei, analyst of CITIC Securities said.

Zhou Xiaochuan, central bank governor, said in March that capital inflow in the stock market is good for the real economy. The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission also said on April 11 companies should capitalize well on the stock and equity market.

On Friday the Shenzhen Component Index gained 1.3 percent to close at 14,149.34 points. Total turnover on the two bourses amounted to 1.53 trillion yuan (25 billion U.S. dollars).

The rise was led by ship making, oil refineries and infrastructure.

Arms producers also rose as the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that it will guide private capital into the previously closed military sector.

Companies related to nuclear power rallied as the State Council approved on Wednesday construction of nuclear power units using domestic technology.

The ChiNext Index, China's Nasdaq-style board of growth enterprises, shed 0.82 percent to end at 2,535.77 points.

Xiao Gang, head of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, warned on Thursday of latent risks in the market and advised share holders to invest calmly and cautiously.

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