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Stocks down 2% over worries
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13:48, April 29, 2008

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Following a near 15 percent surge last week, the mainland stock market fell 2.33 percent yesterday as investors worried over the outlook on corporate earnings.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 83.03 points to close at 3474.72, with 535 out of 914 companies closing lower. The Shenzhen Component Index fell 2.46 percent, or 322.45 points, to close at 12782.5.

The turnover on the two bourses amounted to 156.96 billion yuan, down 65 percent from last Friday. Total capitalization dropped 1.5 percent to 22.54 trillion yuan.

Analysts said that worse-than-expected corporate earnings announced recently dampened investor sentiment and triggered worries over a possible continuous slide in earnings this year.

"Investors are worried about a possible widespread decline in corporate earnings," said Wu Feng, an analyst at TX Investment Consulting Co Ltd.

Three initial public offerings, which made their spectacular debut in Shanghai and Shenzhen last Friday, all plummeted to daily allowable limits in yesterday's trading.

Shares of Zijin Mining Group Co, which surged nearly 100 percent in Shanghai last Friday, shed 10 percent to close at 12.53 yuan. Rubber producer Sanlux and fire-resistant products manufacturer Puyang Refractories Group Co Ltd, listed on the Shenzhen bourse, all tumbled 10 percent.

The existing inflationary pressure, which lowered consumer's confidence, also made people more cautious about investing, analysts said.

The consumer confidence index in Shanghai also slid in the first quarter, according to statistics from the Shanghai bureau of statistics.

"Consumers' confidence about the city's overall economic condition, quality of life and consumer durables purchasing has largely declined," the bureau's report stated.

Meanwhile, stocks in the agriculture sector performed well, as investors are expecting higher corporate earnings because of soaring prices, analysts said. Denghai Seeds Co Ltd surged 10 percent, after it posted a 117 percent jump in net profit in the first quarter.

Source: China Daily

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