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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Chinese stocks plunge on economic concerns

(Xinhua)

09:23, March 29, 2012

An investor is seen at a stock trading hall in Jiujiang, east China's Jiangxi Province, March 28, 2012. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slumped 2.65 percent, or 62.30 points, to end at 2,284.88 points. The Shenzhen Component Index retreated 3.15 percent, or 310.23 points, to end at 9,531.15. (Xinhua/Hu Guolin)

BEIJING, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese shares plunged Wednesday, with the key Shanghai index falling to a seven-week low, on concerns that rising prices would keep policy-makers from relaxing monetary tightening policies.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slumped 2.65 percent, or 62.30 points, to end at 2,284.88 points.

The Shenzhen Component Index retreated 3.15 percent, or 310.23 points, to end at 9,531.15.

Aggregated turnover on the two bourses expanded to 151.9 billion yuan (24.11 billion U.S. dollars) from 124.97 billion yuan the previous trading day.

Most shares fell, with losers outnumbering gainers by 908 to 27 in Shanghai, and by 1,371 to 49 in Shenzhen.

The State Council, or China's Cabinet, said the country will step up efforts to ensure overall price stability and prevent a rebound in consumer prices this year, according to a statement posted on the government website (www.gov.cn).

However, the rising prices of fuel and some farm produce have sparked speculation that the central bank will not loosen monetary tightening policies in the short term.

Meanwhile, industrial companies posted the first January-February profit declines since 2009, fueling concerns that an economic slowdown may be worse than expected.

Banking shares fell across the board. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the nation's largest lender, fell 0.46 percent to 4.31 yuan, while Bank of Communications shed 1.26 percent to 4.69 yuan.

China Vanke, the country's largest property developer by market value, edged down 0.25 percent to 8 yuan, while China Shenhua, the country's largest coal producer, slid 2.9 percent to 25.49 yuan.

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