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Market retreats as IPOs soak up cash

SHANGHAI'S key stock index closed lower today after the financial sector retreated as new share sales withdrew capital from the market.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.59 percent, or 19.25 points, to close at 3,255.21 points. Turnover was 123.2 billion yuan (US$18.4 billion). Gainers outnumbered lowers 548 to 309, and 56 shares remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, lost 1.06 percent to close at 1,201.97 points.

The second batch of companies to be listed on China's Nasdaq-style board are seeking to raise a total of 4.9 billion yuan from initial public offerings. The eight startups started subscription today on the ChiNext bourse, issuing a total of 198 million new shares.

China Shipbuilding Industry Co closed at 8.30 yuan on its debut in Shanghai, a 12.47 percent jump from its offering price. The nation's biggest shipping equipment maker raised 14.7 billion yuan in China's third-largest initial public offering this year.

China Shenhua Energy Co said its coal output rose 8.3 percent from a year ago to 17 million metric tons in November. Its shares lowered 0.68 percent to 34.97 yuan.

Suning Appliance Co said it has won regulatory approval to sell as many as 200 million shares to raise 2.8 billion yuan through a private placement. The stock tumbled 2.49 percent to 19.55 yuan.

Property shares remained weak as investors see limited profitability after the Cabinet pledged to curb soaring house prices. China Vanke Co, the biggest listed domestic real estate developer, dipped 0.35 percent to 11.35 yuan. Gemdale Corporation lost 0.88 percent to 14.61 yuan. Poly Real Estate Group was down 0.13 percent to 23.72 yuan.

Financial shares and banking sector were also flat. China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd retreated 2.54 percent to 25.37 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank lost 0.59 percent to 21.88 yuan and China Construction Bank was down 0.82 percent to 6.06 yuan.


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