Thursday, September 18, 2008

China stocks plunge nearly 6 pct after Wall Street losses

Declines on the China market worsened in the early session on Thursday after heavy losses on Wall Street and reports by more Chinese banks of holdings in failed U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index plummeted 5.84 percent to close the morning session at 1,816.44 points, led by bankers and insurers.

The losses tracked overnight losses on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrial average slid 449.36 points, or 4.06 percent, to 10,609.66.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China nosedived 7.89 percent to 3.15 yuan after the bank reported its holdings at 151.8 million U.S. dollars the previous day.

The Bank of China said its total exposure was 128.82 million U.S. dollars late on Wednesday. Its share prices went down 4.38 percent to 2.84 yuan in the morning.

China Merchants Bank, the first Chinese bank to report holdings of 70 million U.S. dollars worth of bonds issued by Lehman, lost 3.59 percent to 13.95 yuan after a two-day plunge of the 10 percent daily limit.

China Ping An plummeted by the daily limit of 10 percent finished the morning session at 30.2 yuan, while China Life Insurance was down 9.42 percent to 17.99 yuan.

The property sector also reported heavy losses, and helped drive the index lower. Chongqing Yukaifa fell 10.04 percent to 4.3yuan, and China Vanke fell 5.23 percent to 4.89 yuan.

The Shenzhen Component Index closed at 6,338.19 points, down 341.87 points, or 5.12 percent.

Losers sharply outnumbers gainers by 861 to 18 on the Shanghai market, and 722 to 11 on the Shenzhen market.


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