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English>>China Business

Mainland shares retreat on earnings concerns

By Yu Xi (Global Times)

08:31, September 03, 2012

Chinese stock markets continued to lose steam Friday after worries about the waning profitability of mainland-listed firms pushed stocks into the red for another day.

The Shanghai Composite Index finished trading at 2,047.52 points Friday, down 5.06 points, or 0.25 percent; while the Shenzhen Component Index closed last week at 8,210.99 points after slumping 9.08 points, or 0.11 percent, on the day.

Both markets began last week on a down note after the Shanghai Composite ended last Monday at its lowest level since March 2009. Tuesday witnessed markets finish at odds after gains in several heavily weighted sectors - including steel, oil and brokerages - propelled the Shanghai Composite to its highest close in three weeks. The gains were short-lived though, as the benchmark again sank to levels not seen in over three years Wednesday. The decline extended into Thursday, along with an accompanying rise in trading sentiment.

The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component opened lower Friday due to contractions in the US and European stock markets overnight, although good performances from the insurance, real estate, brewing and home appliance sectors helped the indices climb up in the early morning. In the afternoon, a report from the Shanghai Securities News that 2,475 listed companies trading at exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen had posted a combined first-half net profit of 1.02 trillion yuan ($160 billion), down 1.51 percent from the same period in 2011, ultimately put a lid on the early gains and sent the Shanghai Composite skidding to its lowest close in 42 months.

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