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Weak export growth data sends stocks fall to 2-year low

(Shanghai Daily)

18:24, December 12, 2011

SHANGHAI'S key stock index retreated for the third straight day to the lowest in more than two years after data showed slower export growth in November, fueling speculation that the economy will remain weak next year.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.02 percent to 2,291.54 points. Turnover fell to 36.5 billion yuan (US$5.8 billion).

China's annual exports eased for the fourth consecutive month to 13.8 percent, the General Administration of Customs said on Saturday.

Imports grew at 22.1 percent to 159.96 billion yuan, and the surplus exports enjoyed over imports retreated by 35 percent, the data showed.

"Economic growth next year will still be slower," Ba Shusong, a senior economist at the State Council's Development Research Center, told a forum yesterday. "The weak overseas economy will reduce the number of export orders, and place a drag on economic growth."

Banks were weak. Bank of China fell 0.3 percent to 2.91 yuan. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China similarly lost 1.2 percent to 4.12 yuan.

Property developers slumped after the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Friday predicted an extensive drop in home prices if home transactions remained below expectations in the first half of next year. China Vanke dropped 3.2 percent to 7.30 yuan. Gemdale Corp slid 5 percent to 4.58 yuan.

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