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Loan peril pushes market down

SHANGHAI'S key stock index extended losses today on concerns the government will tighten lending after an explosion of loans in the first half added to economic risks.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.28 percent, or 8.68 points, to close at 3,080.77 points. Turnover shrank to 155.3 billion yuan (US$22.84 billion) from 181.1 billion yuan. Gainers outnumbered losers 555 to 285 and 26 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, rose 1.15 percent to close at 1,019.79 points.

Shares opened lower following tumbles in US markets and hit an intraday low of 3,011.21 points. But rallies in property and coal sectors pushed up the index in the afternoon.

Aggressive credit expansion poses a risk to the nation's lenders and a concentration of loans to some industries may damage the financial system, said Wang Huaqing, disciplinary secretary of the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

Chinese banks extended a record 5.84 trillion yuan (US$854.6 billion) of loans in the first five months to support a government stimulus package, almost triple that of a year earlier, according to the central bank.

Lenders were the hardest hit on concerns over tightened credit.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, slid 2.76 percent to 5.28 yuan. China Construction Bank retreated 2.82 percent to close at 6.2 yuan. Bank of China lost 1.95 percent to 4.52 yuan. China Merchants Bank Co sank 1.93 percent to 18.28 yuan. Bank of Communications Co lowered 3.04 percent to 9.56 yuan.

PetroChina Co, the nation's biggest oil producer and the biggest component index, dropped 1.55 percent to 14.59 yuan after crude slid to a six-week low.

Crude oil fell as much as 1.4 percent to US$62.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest since May 26. Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, slumped 1.69 percent to 11.6 yuan.

Real estate developers reversed earlier losses and bucked the downward trend. Shanghai Lujiazui Finance & Trade Zone gained 1.1 percent to 25.8 yuan. Poly Real Estate Group Co surged 4.11 percent to 29.88 yuan. Gemdale Corp climbed 3.21 percent to 18.31 yuan.

China Shenhua Energy Co, Asia's largest coal producer, advanced 3.41 percent to 33.95 yuan. Datong Coal Industry Co hiked 4.92 percent to 40.96 yuan. Pingdingshan Tianan Coal Mining Co jumped 6.91 percent to 33.57 yuan.

SAIC Motor Corp rose for a sixth day on media reports June passenger car sales rose 58 percent from a year earlier. SAIC increased 1.75 percent to 17.49 yuan.


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