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Index loses steam to tumble nearly 3%

SHANGHAI'S key stock index tumbled the most in two weeks yesterday to close below 2,500 points as energy companies and metal producers declined on profit taking.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 2.94 percent, or 74.48, to 2,461.35, the biggest drop since April 8. Turnover was 177.6 billion yuan (US$26 billion).

"Concerns over the earnings of listed companies in the first quarter as well as profit-taking brought the index down, and the fluctuation is likely to continue in the short term," said a research note by Haitong Securities.

Datang International Power Generation Co, a unit of China's second-biggest electricity producer, declined 2.77 percent to 7.37 yuan. GD Power Development Co, the largest electricity utility in northeastern China, dipped 0.95 percent to 6.24 yuan. Huaneng Power International Inc, the listed unit of China's largest power group, lost 2.95 percent to 7.89 yuan.

Zijin Mining Group Co plunged 6.04 percent to 9.80 yuan and Zhongjin Gold Corp eased 3.66 percent to 55.35 yuan after metal prices fell.

Banks reversed gains in the morning session despite the People's Bank of China Deputy Governor Yi Gang saying yesterday there are signs of economic recovery in China as the government stimulus packages are working.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest bank, dipped 0.24 percent to 4.11 yuan. China Merchants Bank Co, the nation's fifth-largest bank by market value, lost 3.00 percent to 15.54 yuan.

Ping An Insurance Co fell 2.83 percent to 39.83 yuan. China Life Insurance Co shed 2.66 percent to 23.45 yuan.


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