Shanghai shares fall as investor sentiment cautious

Bad day for insurance companies, iron and steel producers and carmakers which all declined.

Shanghai stocks fell today after insurance companies and iron and steel producers declined amid cautious investor sentiment.

The Shanghai Composite Index edged down 0.84 percent to close at 3,136.63 points.

Most sectors fell today, with iron and steel producers, insurers and automobile manufacturers being among the biggest decliners. Iron and steel producers as a whole fell 1.99 percent and insurance firms declined 1.43 percent, according to financial information provider Tonghuashun.

Shares of insurers fell as market sentiment weakened. China’s insurance regulator said today that total premium income of the industry totaled 970.34 billion yuan (US$154.41 billion) in the first two months of this year, down 18.48 percent year on year.

Xinjiang Bayi Iron & Steel Co Ltd slumped 4.61 percent to 12.42 yuan (US$1.98), China Life Insurance Co Ltd lost 1.38 percent to 25.06 yuan and Bank Of Chengdu Co Ltd fell 2.21 percent to 10.62 yuan.

The property sector also retreated today. “The property sector softened as Beijing continues to fight against property speculators in provincial capitals," Reuters reported.

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