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Shanghai index sinks nearly 3%

SHANGHAI'S key stock barometer couldn't sustain the rallies of previous days and sank nearly 3 percent yesterday amid a broad sell-off to post the biggest single-day drop in nearly 2 months.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 2.93 percent, or 69.95 points, to close at 2,319.44 points, after hitting an intraday high of 2,402.81 points.

Losers outnumbered gainers 761 to 118 while 3 stocks remained unchanged. Turnover shrank a little to 169.2 billion yuan (US$24.88 billion), from 177.9 billion yuan on Monday.

Shares opened lower in the wake of declines in surrounding markets. But the weak performance of heavy-weighted shares led the local stock market to fall even further in the afternoon and a broad sell-off among investors punctured the benchmark index.

"Fluctuations of the blue chips restricted the index's rebound," United Securities Co wrote in a research note. "Trade volume stayed at a high level, signaling that investors hold different views on the future trend."

Property shares led the losses as hopes of an interest rate cut fizzled.

Gemdale Corp, a partner of ING Group NV, dived 6.78 percent to 8.53 yuan. Shimao Property Co slid 5.59 percent to 9.29 yuan while Poly Real Estate Group Co shed 4.44 percent to 18.3 yuan.


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