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Stock market slides in morning after five-day gain

SHANGHAI'S key stock index lost nearly 2 percent in the morning trade to below 3,400 points after climbing for five days as financial shares and steel producers retreated.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.75 percent, or 60.32 points, to close at 3,378.05 points. Turnover was 143.4 billion yuan (US$21 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 775 to 94 and 39 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, retreated 2.39 percent to close at 1,111.25 points.

China State Construction Engineering Co Ltd, the biggest initial public offering in the country in two years, started trading in the Shanghai bourse today. Its shares opened at 6.70 yuan, or 60.29 percent above its offering price. The country's largest housing contractor is raising 50 billion yuan from the IPO. The stock closed at 6.91 yuan as of 11:30 am.

Baoshan Iron and Steel Co, China's biggest steel maker, was down 3.09 percent to 9.11 yuan. Angang Steel Co Ltd lost 2.10 percent to 16.75 yuan. Xinjiang Bayi Iron&Steel Co Ltd dropped 4.24 percent to 13.79 yuan.

China Vanke Co, the biggest listed domestic real estate developer, lost 2.60 percent to 13.87 yuan. Gemdale Corporation plunged 6.02 percent to 18.89 yuan. Poly Real Estate Group dropped 3.33 percent to 28.12 yuan.

China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd lost 1.43 percent to 27.50 yuan. Ping An Insurance (Group) Co dropped 1.38 percent to 61.60 yuan. China Life Insurance Co was down 1.96 percent to 33 yuan.

Banks showed mixed results. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, edged up 0.38 percent to 5.33 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank climbed 0.90 percent to 25.82 yuan. China Construction Bank rose 1.29 percent to close at 6.26 yuan. Bank of Communications dropped 1.35 percent to 10.96 yuan. Bank of China dipped 0.22 percent to 4.59 yuan.


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