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Shanghai index losses hit 21-month high


15:25, February 23, 2013

BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Shanghai stock index, a key indicator of China's equity market, suffered major losses in the year's first trading week on the lunar calendar.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 4.86 percent over the past week, which marked the largest single-week decline since May 2011, data from the Shanghai bourse showed.

Aside from profit-taking moves, the losses were also triggered by a Wednesday State Council statement that the country will strictly implement and improve current tightening measures on the housing market, and expand property tax trials to more cities, analysts said.

Since 2010, authorities have introduced a string of measures like third home purchase bans and higher downpayments to curb skyrocketing housing prices. There have also been property tax trials in Shanghai and Chongqing, although the effects have been questioned due to relatively low taxation rates.

Meanwhile, fears over a possible easing of the U.S. super-easy monetary policy indicated from the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting also weighed heavily on the market.

However, the corrections were still within the range of market expectations, which may be beneficial to its long-term development, according to a report from Shanghai-based Lombarda China Fund Management Co.

Changes in regulators' initial public offering polices and future key economic data, which the market hopes will confirm the recovering trend in the economy, will be major factors affecting the market, said an analyst from Beijing-based Minsheng Securities.

During the past five trading days, the index, together with that in the Shenzhen bourse, experienced almost a straight fall except for small rises on Wednesday.

On Friday, The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.51 percent to end at 2,314.16, while the Shenzhen Component Index slid 0.34 percent to 9,364.54.

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