China's stocks slump 4.3% to two-month low

BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- China's stocks fell 4.3 percent to a two-month low on Wednesday's close, as the real estate, non-ferrous metals and coal shares dropped more than 7 percent.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 125.3 points to finish at 2,785.58. The Shenzhen Component Index dropped 4.79 percent, or 563.38 points, to end at 11,209.92.

Combined turnover rose to 191.07 billion yuan (27.96 billion U.S. dollars) from 180.2 billion yuan the previous trading day.

Losers outnumbered gainers by 799 to 78 in Shanghai and 685 to 64 in Shenzhen.

The Shanghai index had sunk more than 18 percent as of Wednesday from early this month, hitting the lowest point since it finished at 2,753.89 on June 5.

It rallied slightly on opening, but was dragged down below 2,900 by weakening steel, non-ferrous, and brokerage stocks. Heavyweights led the losses in the afternoon, with PetroChina Co. declining 2.33 percent to close at 12.99 yuan and China Construction Bank Corp. dropping 3.68 percent to end at 5.49 yuan.

The real estate sector posted widespread losses with nine companies falling by the daily limit of 10 percent. China Vanke, the country's largest developer by market value, dropped 5.58 percent to 11 yuan.

The brokerage sector dropped as its 10 stocks plunged more than 8 percent. Everbright Securities Co., which surged 29.8 percent on Tuesday's debut, tumbled by the daily limit to close at 24.66 yuan.

The slump in the benchmark index reflected investor anticipation that the government was preparing to alter its monetary policy to guide appropriate credit growth and to curb excess liquidity, dealers said.


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