Chinese shares close higher Thursday

BEIJING, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese stocks closed higher Thursday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index up 0.49 percent to 3,240.28 points.

The Shenzhen Component Index closed 0.87 percent higher at 11,913.26 points.

The combined turnover of stocks covered by the two indices stood at 687 billion yuan (about 101.52 billion U.S. dollars), up from 635.8 billion yuan on the previous trading day.

Shares related to software, brokerages, and semiconductors led the gains, while those in the hospitality, catering and education sectors were among the heaviest losers.

The ChiNext Index, tracking China's Nasdaq-style board of growth enterprises, gained 1.08 percent to close at 2,571.44 points Thursday.