BEIJING, Dec. 15 -- Chinese stocks crept higher Tuesday on the back of cement producers' and agriculture stocks' gains.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.14 percent higher at 2,927.08 points while the Shenzhen Component Index gained 0.17 percent, or 21.59 points, to finish at 12,926.62.
Total turnover fell to 284.51 billion yuan (42.78 billion U.S. dollars) from 290.74 billion yuan Monday.
Gainers outnumbered losers 643 to 228 in Shanghai and 888 to 221 in Shenzhen.
Cement producers led the rise on speculation China's plan to build 10 million low-cost apartments in 2011 -- 72 percent more than in 2010 -- will boost demand for cement and other construction materials.
Fujian Cement Inc. and Jiangxi Wannianqing Cement Co. rose by the 10-percent daily limit to close at 8.88 yuan and 13.09 yuan, respectively, outpacing the 6.11-percent advance of the broader sector.
Agricultural stocks gained 2.85 percent as market participants welcomed authorities' decision to refrain from raising interest rates despite increased inflation.
China's consumer price index, the main gauge of inflation, accelerated to 5.1 percent year on year in November - the fastest pace in 28 months - but the government has not raised interests rates since October.
Authorities have, instead, ordered Chinese banks to set aside more reserves, which drains money from the financial system.
Yuan Longping High-tech Agricultural Co. jumped by the daily limit of 10 percent to 33.01 yuan while Shandong Denghai Seeds Joint-Stock Co., climbed 7.29 percent to 70.06 yuan per share.
Financial shares fell Tuesday with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China's biggest lender by market value, retreating 0.23 percent to 4.27 yuan and CITIC Securities Co., China's biggest listed brokerage, falling 0.95 percent to 13.52 yuan per share.