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Key stock index falls 1.15% at midday

SHANGHAI'S key stock index dropped more than 1 percent this morning on speculation the central bank will act to rein in bank lending.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.15 percent, or 37.68 points, to close at 3,228.75 points. Turnover stood at 127.06 billion yuan (US$18.69 billion) at the midday break. Losing shares outnumbered gainers 713 to 153 and 5 remained unchanged.

The index dropped 5 percent yesterday - it's biggest single-day loss in eight months.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, fell 1.81 percent to 1,052.75 points in today's morning session.

China's central bank will use market tools to control lending growth and will maintain a "moderately loose monetary policy" to support the nation's economic recovery, said Su Ning, deputy governor of People's Bank of China.

PetroChina, the biggest component index, fell 1.45 percent to 15 yuan. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's largest oil refiner, dropped 2.9 percent to 13.75 yuan.

China Shenhua Energy Co, Asia's largest coal producer, slid 3.14 percent to 35.8 yuan. Yanzhou Coal Mining Co lost 5.45 percent to 18.9 yuan. Pingdingshan Tianan Coal Mining Co tumbled 4.14 percent to 33.55 yuan. Datong Coal Industry Co plunged 4.27 percent to 45.28 yuan.

Lenders bucked the downward trend, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, added 0.77 percent to 5.21 yuan. China Construction Bank gained 2.28 percent to close at 6.29 yuan. Bank of China increased 1.12 percent to close the session at 4.51 yuan.


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