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A shares fall after holiday

(China Daily)

08:27, February 20, 2013

Investors at a stock brokerage in Taicang, Jiangsu province. Despite the fall in the A-share market on its first trading day after Spring Festival, analysts are still optimistic that the trend for growth will not change this year. Ji Haixin / For China Daily

China's A-share market closed lower on Monday after the week-long holiday, dragged down by finance and insurance companies and gold-related stocks, but analysts remained optimistic.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.45 percent to close at 2,421.56 points after hitting a multi-month high of 2,432.40 on Feb 8, the last trading day before markets closed for Spring Festival.

The CSI300 of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings ended down 1.2 percent at 2,737.5 points.

Everbright Securities dropped 5.51 percent, and Shanghai Laofengxiang, a leading gold jewelry retailer, saw its share price fall 5.31 percent.

The fall in the A-share market on its first trading day after Spring Festival surprised investors in Hong Kong, depressing the Hang Seng Index in intra-day trade, Reuters said on Monday.

But mainland analysts are staying hopeful.

"Profit-taking activities are putting huge pressure on the stock market, as more investors are selling shares after the SCI climbed to a high position in the past month. It is normal that the market fluctuates," said Liu Ying, an analyst with Huatai Securities.

"But I believe the trend for growth will not change," he added.

Easy monetary conditions allow more capital to be allocated in the global market. The bigger quotas for qualified foreign institutional investors and RQFII, or renminbi QFII, strengthen capital supply in the A-share market.

Zhou Xi, an analyst with Bohai Securities, wrote in a note, "The economic outlook for the first quarter is positive, and this will help maintain a mood of optimism among institutional investors."

"The earning reports of several blue chips show steady growth, which will attract institutional investors, and bring the index up," he said.

The Shanghai Securities Journal on Monday cited an anonymous insider as saying that China is putting more national social security funds into the stock market.

Analysts said this move will help bolster investor confidence, as it shows that long-term investors are positive about market prospects.

China's social security fund bought shares worth 42.8 billion yuan ($6.9 billion) last year, said Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

The Shanghai Composite Index exceeded the 2,400 level for the first time in nine months after rising for five consecutive days in early February.

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