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Index loses 3 percent on credit fears

SHANGHAI'S key stock index lost more than 3 percent today after a government-backed researcher said the country should consider pulling back stimulus measures next year and among rumors that banks have been told to restrict lending.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 3.45 percent, or 115.14 points, to close at 3,223.53 points. Turnover was 29.1 billion yuan (US$4.3 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 838 to 50 and 24 stocks remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, retreated 4.25 percent to close at 1,175.08 points.

Liu Manping, an expert with the National Price Monitoring Centre, said in an article in Outlook Weekly magazine that government spending has restored economic growth and the end of the second quarter of 2010 may be the right time to wind down stimulus efforts.

China's cabinet will hold its central economic working meeting early next week, which will concluded this year's economic situation and will also set the blueprint for macroeconomic policies in the next year. There has been increasing debate about whether the stimulus measures will continue in the next year and investors took a cautious outlook on macroeconomic policies.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, dropped 2.74 percent to 5.32 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank lost 2.46 percent to 23.01 yuan. China Construction Bank was down 2.87 percent to close at 4.42 yuan. Bank of Communications retreated 3.05 percent to 8.89 yuan.

Metal producers and energy companies were also among the losers. Shandong Gold Mining Co was down 1.41 percent to 76.72 yuan. Yunnan Copper Co tumbled 4.06 percent to 32.39 yuan. Zhongjin Gold Corp, the second biggest by market value, lost 1.92 percent to 60.65 yuan.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner and also known as Sinopec, retreated 3.88 percent to 12.15 yuan. PetroChina, the largest oil producer, lost 2.98 percent to 13.68 yuan.

Steel producers were among the gainers among expectation that more mergers and acquisitions in the industry will benefit large companies. Baoshan Iron & Steel Co, the country's biggest steel producer, jumped 3.39 percent to 8.23 yuan. Beijing Shougang Co Ltd edged up 0.33 percent to 6.11 yuan.

China Vanke Co, the biggest listed domestic real estate developer, lost 1.97 percent to 11.95 yuan. Gemdale Corporation was down 2.01 percent to 16.10 yuan. Poly Real Estate Group dropped 1.24 percent to 26.27 yuan.


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