China shares fall as stimulus plan optimism wanes
AP - Wednesday, November 12
SHANGHAI, China - Chinese shares fell Tuesday as optimism about the government's multibillion dollar stimulus package gave way to renewed caution about the economy and profit-taking, with losses led by financial stocks and other heavyweights.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1.7 percent, or 31.19 points, to 1843.61 in thin trading. The Shenzhen Composite Index for China's smaller second exchange dropped 0.6 percent to 494.54.
"The package encouraged pessimistic investors yesterday, but it usually at least takes three months for policies to be implemented. And anything could happen during the period," said Xu Zhiyuan, analyst for Capital Edge Investment & Management. "Investors preferred to pull out and watch the situation more after getting in."
Investors also worried that falling inflation could turn to deflation, analysts said.
The government reported Tuesday that consumer prices rose 4 percent in October from the year-earlier period, down from a 4.3 percent rate in September.
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., China's biggest commercial lender, fell 1.8 percent to 3.92 yuan. Bank of China Ltd. lost 1.5 percent to 3.24 yuan, and China Construction Bank Ltd. dropped 0.9 percent to 4.35 yuan.
Ping An Insurance Ltd. gave up 2.4 percent to 25.82 yuan after the company said it had no plans yet to raise new money, a move that analysts had said would indicate it believed the global economic downturn had reached its lowest point.
China Life Insurance, the country's biggest life insurer, sank 3.8 percent to 19.9 yuan.
Sinopec, or China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Asia's biggest refiner by volume, tumbled 3.4 percent to 7.34 yuan. China's biggest oil producer, PetroChina Ltd., fell 2.1 percent to 10.99 yuan.
Construction-related shares bucked the trend as the government's stimulus package promised more spending on infrastructure.
Hebei Taihang Cement Co. surged by the daily limit of 10 percent for a fifth straight day to 3.82 yuan, and China Railway Erju Ltd. gained 5.4 percent to 7.37 yuan.
Real Estate giant China Vanke Ltd., rose 2.3 percent to 6.27 yuan, and rival Poly Real Estate Group, jumped 3.1 percent to 14.54 yuan.
On currency markets, China's yuan was traded 6.8273 against the U.S. dollar late Tuesday afternoon, down from Monday's close of 6.8266.
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