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September 13, 2016

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Fed rate hike talk, selloff hit shares

SHANGHAI stocks fell the most in more than six weeks yesterday, joining a global selloff amid renewed speculation of an imminent interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve, and on jitters caused by a selloff by major shareholders.

The Shanghai Composite Index shed 1.85 percent, the biggest daily loss since July 27, to 3,021.98 points. All sectors fell with non-ferrous metal, trading and electronic firms leading the pace.

The broad decline followed a global selloff, which saw Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dive 3.4 percent and Japan’s Nikkei tumble 1.7 percent.

Investors were rattled by rising odds of a Fed rate hike this month after Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren last Friday called for gradual rate hikes.

If the Fed were to hike interest rates, the yuan would come under depreciation pressure as China’s central bank yesterday set the midpoint rate at 6.6908 per dollar, the weakest since August 31.

Sentiment was further soured by a wave of stock selling by shareholders. As of Friday, executives and major shareholders of 126 companies have cut their stock holdings this month, according to company fillings.

Data from Wind Information Co showed around 18.3 billion yuan (US$2.7 billion) of shares, which were restricted from trading, will become tradable this week, letting their holders unload.


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