Chinese shares closed slightly higher on Thursday, lifted by strong performances by non-ferrous metals and cement shares, although investors still traded cautiously amid generally positive market sentiment.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.28 percent, or 6.11 points, to end at 2,168.35 points.
The Shenzhen Component Index finished at 8,693.23 points, up 0.62 percent, or 53.66 points.
Combined turnover on the two bourses edged up to 150.5 billion yuan (23.93 billion U.S. dollars) from 141.2 billion yuan the previous trading day.
Nearly half of the companies listed on the two bourses rose on Thursday, while 21 companies saw their shares surge by the 10-percent daily limit.
Non-ferrous metal and cement producers gained the most during Thursday's trading. Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) Hi-Tech Co. jumped 6.9 percent to close at 38.26 yuan per share, while Xinjiang West Construction Co. gained 2.55 percent to 13.68 yuan.
The liquor sector led declines due to a lingering scandal over toxic levels of plasticizer detected in some liquor products. The sub-index for the sector dropped 1.16 percent from the previous trading day.
Jiugui Liquor, which was first implicated in the scandal in November, went down 1.79 percent to 32.88 yuan. Kweichow Moutai, a leading producer of high-end liquor, slid 0.48 percent to 218.4 yuan.
Poultry-related shares extended losses following a China Central Television report this week alleging that some poultry farmers in east China's Shandong Province gave chickens excessive amounts of antibiotics to help them survive in overcrowded chicken houses.
New Hope Liuhe Co., the parent company of the Shandong subsidiary implicated in the scandal, dropped 2.05 percent to close at 11.48 yuan.