SHANGHAI B shares picked up ground for the first time in four days yesterday on increasing hopes that China can control its booming economy without forcing a severe contraction. The Credit Lyonnais B-share index rose 3.55 points, or 0.48 per cent, to close on 747.71. The A-share index jumped 74.26 points, or 3.71 per cent, to close at 2,076.02. ''The first-half economic figures have allayed fears that the government isn't in control of the economy,'' said Charlotte Stephens, manager of China research at Crosby Securities (HK). Traders in Shanghai said there was still discomfort, however, with China's high inflation rate. ''Shanghai is set to raise water, coal and public transport prices on August 1,'' said a trader with Shanghai Wangguo Securities. Among active stocks, dyeing machine and spinning machine manufacturer Erfangji rose 1.4 cents, or 5.5 per cent, to 27 US cents. ''The company's chairman accompanied Chinese Premier Li Peng on his recent trip to Germany and Austria, boosting interest in the company,'' said the Wangguo trader. PVC and caustic soda maker Chlor Alkali continued to attract attention with more than one million shares worth $270,000 changing hands. It was unchanged at 25 cents. Analysts said the biggest problem facing the B-share market remained the light trading. ''The liquidity is so limited that as soon as there is a little bit of turnover it affects the price of a stock quickly,'' said Patricia Lambert, manager of China research at W I Carr (Far East). She said that with China's economy slowing, the best bets might be companies that were geared towards export markets. The appreciation of the yen against the US dollar and China's yuan should also raise China's exports to Japan, said Ms Lambert.