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UPDATED: February 19, 2009
Chinese Shares Sink 4.7% on Investors' Economic Concerns
Investors have become concerned that stock gains have outpaced fundamental economic improvement

Chinese equities recorded their largest one-day drop this year in falling volume Wednesday as investors worried that large gains since Jan. 1 couldn't be sustained, analysts said.

As of Monday, the index had gained more than 31 percent, and investors have become concerned that stock gains have outpaced fundamental economic improvement.

Declines on regional markets also undermined sentiment, they said.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 4.72 percent, or 109.58 points, to 2,209.86. The Shenzhen Component Index declined 4.46 percent, or 377.65 points, to 8,083.5.

Combined turnover was 210 billion yuan (30.75 billion U.S. dollars), shrinking from 258.5 billion yuan on the previous trading day.

Losers led gainers by 772 to 107 in Shanghai and 664 to 88 in Shenzhen.

Coal producers' shares fell on news that coal prices at north China's Qinhuangdao port, a major supply center, declined 10 percent to 550 yuan per tonne this week.

China Shenhua Energy, the country's largest coal producer, slumped 7.15 percent to 20.9 yuan. Pingdingshan Tianan Coal Mining dropped 8.15 percent to 17.12 yuan.

Shares of new energy providers gained, however, after the government Tuesday launched a pilot program to subsidize energy-efficient and new-energy public transport vehicles in 13 cities.

Xinjiang Gold wind Science and Technology, a domestic wind power generation equipment manufacturer, gained 2.17 percent to 34.84 yuan. Shares of Guizhou Changzheng Electric, a producer of electric equipment, climbed 4.6 percent to 10.45 yuan.

Sentiment was also depressed by overnight losses on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrial average fell 3.79 percent to 7,552.60 on worries that the new stimulus package would not be enough to revive the economy.

The 787 billion U.S. dollar stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was signed into law Tuesday by U.S.President Barack Obama.

(Xinhua News Agency February 18, 2009)

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