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Lenders bring stock index down

SHANGHAI'S key stock index extended losses today, led by lenders after the banking regulator said it would strengthen loan supervision.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.73 percent, or 57.1 points, to close at 3,239.57 points. Turnover shrank to 136.3 billion yuan (US$20.1 billion) from 162.7 billion yuan. Losers outnumbered gainers 739 to 156 and 3 stocks remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was down 1.39 percent to close at 1,211.79 points.

China Banking Regulatory Commission chairman Liu Mingkang said yesterday that the banking regulator would strictly control lending to industries that are energy-intensive, polluting and had overcapacity to raise the quality of lending.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd retreated 1.5 percent to 5.22 yuan. China Construction Bank Corp eased 1.3 percent to 6 yuan and Bank of China fell 2.1 percent to 4.14 yuan. China Merchants Bank Co slid 2.5 percent to 17.37 yuan.

Raw material producers were among the losers after commodity prices dropped on a strengthened US dollar.

Jiangxi Copper Co fell 2.8 percent to 41.42 yuan. Aluminum Corp of China was down 3 percent to 15.45 yuan.

PetroChina, the country's biggest oil producer, was off 1 percent to 13.63 yuan after crude oil for January delivery yesterday fell 1.8 percent to US$72.62 a barrel in New York.


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