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China inflation rises more than expected in Feb.

China inflation rises more than expected in Feb. (by V. Phani Kumar)

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- China's inflation increased at a higher-than-expected pace in February, official data showed Friday, reaffirming expectations that policy makers in Beijing will maintain their tightening bias. The monthly gauge of consumer price index rose 4.9% from the year-ago period, unchanged from the reading in January but higher than the 4.8% increase expected in estimates compiled by FactSet Research. Producer price index for February also accelerated at a faster-than-expected 7.2%, gathering pace from January's 6.6% rise and sparking worries about underlying price pressures on manufacturers. China's Shanghai Composite (CN:SHCOMP) slipped 0.1% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index (HK:HSI) dropped 0.9% after the data release.