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October 18, 2016

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Shanghai shares see largest loss in 3 weeks

SHANGHAI stocks fell yesterday as a meltdown in US dollar-denominated B shares in the late afternoon session cast a shadow over market sentiment.

The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.74 percent, the biggest daily loss in three weeks, to close at 3,041.17 points. Trading companies, ship and aircraft manufacturers and financial firms were among the biggest decliners.

The index swung between gains and losses in the morning session and traded lower in the afternoon as US dollar-denominated B shares slumped 6.15 percent. Shenzhen-listed B shares, denominated in Hong Kong dollars, fell 2.4 percent.

Analysts attributed the crash of B shares to worries over the sustained fall of the yuan against the US dollar and poor liquidity. China’s central bank yesterday set the central parity rate of the yuan at a six-year low against the greenback.

The movement of limited-capitalized B shares “won’t have a material impact on A shares, but may sour market sentiment,” said Huatai Securities.

Traded alongside yuan-denominated A shares on Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses, B shares were limited to foreign investors until 2001 when China’s securities regulator allowed domestic investors to trade in them.


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