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Blue chips tumble and drag index to end lower

SHANGHAI'S key stock index closed lower yesterday as heavyweights and financial shares tumbled.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.9 percent, or 23.88 points, to close at 2,639.89 on turnover of 121.4 billion yuan (US$17.7 billion).

PetroChina, the biggest component in the index, shed 1.35 percent to 13.11 yuan while China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner and also known as Sinopec, lost 2.21 percent to 10.60 yuan.

"The index may continue to fluctuate in the near future and some good performing shares in previous weeks may face risks of profit taking, so we suggest investors be cautious," said a research note by Shenyin and Wanguo Securities.

China Life Insurance Co, the country's largest life insurer, lost 2.32 percent to 24.02 yuan. China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co, retreated 1.89 percent to 17.65 yuan. Haitong Securities, China's second-largest listed brokerage by market value, added 0.14 percent to 14.19 yuan.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, dropped 1.38 percent to 4.29 yuan while Bank of China shed 1.1 percent to 3.60 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank lost 1.94 percent to 24.82 yuan and China Merchants Bank Co, the nation's No. 5 by market value, fell 2.93 percent to 17.23 yuan.

Aircraft makers rose. Xi'an Aircraft International Corp surged 3.49 percent to 24.94 yuan and Hafei Aviation Industry Co soared 5.76 percent to end at 18.00 yuan.


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