China stocks down amid caution ahead of economic figures

21:19, December 08, 2010      

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Chinese shares fell Wednesday as investors exercised caution amid expectations of a rate hike around this weekend and reports of property tax trials in major cities as soon as next year.

Also Wednesday, the country's statistics authorities announced the November economic figures, including the CPI, fixed-asset investment and retail sales, would be released on Dec. 11, two days ahead of the original scheduled release date.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.95 percent, or 27.32 points, down to end at 2,848.55.

The Shenzhen Component Index dropped 0.33 percent, or 41.58 points, to finish at 12,615.41.

Combined turnover was 210.44 billion yuan (31.6 billion U.S. dollars), slightly higher than the 206.78 billion yuan the previous trading day.

Losers outnumbered gainers by 610 to 286 in Shanghai and 782 to 403 in Shenzhen.

Domestic media reports Tuesday said the central bank could increase rates again to stem inflation, which might rise further after jumping 4.4 percent year on year in October.

Bank stocks fell across the board, continuing Tuesday's losses. The nation's largest lender, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China closed at 4.25 yuan, down 1.39 percent. China Everbright Bank lost 2.3 percent to end at 3.79 yuan. Bank of China closed at 3.27 yuan, down 0.91 percent.

Gold-related shares led the decline on falling prices. Zijin Mining Group Co., China's largest gold producer, dropped 3.16 percent to 8.57 yuan. Zhongjin Gold Corp., Ltd. dived 3.46 percent to 41.07 yuan.

Most property stocks declined after the China Securities Journal on Wednesday cited sources saying major cities, including Shanghai and Chongqing, could trial the nation's first property taxes next year.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank, on Wednesday also forecast the country's housing prices to edge down next year as the government seeks to increase investment in the affordable housing construction to boost supply.

China Vanke, the nation's biggest property developer, retreated by 1.96 percent to 8.49 yuan. Poly Real Estate, the second largest property company, fell 0.47 percent to 12.7 yuan.

Bucking the trend, rail-related shares rose after the Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun on Tuesday said China was operating the world's most extensive high-speed railway network, totaling 7,531 kilometers.

China Railway Group Ltd. rose 2.33 percent to 4.39 yuan. China Railway Erju Co. Ltd. gained almost 3 percent to finish at 9.31 yuan.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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