Updated from 1:56 p.m. EDT

Dry bulk shipping stocks were on the rise Thursday, mirroring activity in the broader market.

Investors interested in Chinese consumption of basic materials may take heart in a report that Rio Tinto ( RTP) expects Chinese demand for iron ore to increase in the latter half of 2009. Though the company reported a drop in quarterly iron ore production on Wednesday, CEO Tom Albanese said he expects the Chinese government's stimulus package to boost investment in infrastructure and housing.

Analysts at Credit Suisse echoed his optimism Thursday and upgraded the steel industry from benchmark to overweight on improved prospects in China. Among the dry bulk firms:

Diana Shipping ( DSX) was up 4.1% to $14.46.

Eagle Bulk Shipping ( EGLE) was up 7.7% to $6.17.

Genco Shipping ( GNK) was up 8.3% to $16.68.

Excel Maritime ( EXM) was rising 5% to $7.12.

DryShips ( DRYS) was up 6.5% to $5.61.

Navios Maritime ( NM) was up 7.4% to $3.04.

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