Chinese stocks retreat for second day, closing below 3,000 points

Chinese stocks retreated for the second day, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closing below the 3,000-point key level.

Chinese stocks retreated for the second day, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closing below the key 3,000-point level.

The Shanghai index fell 1.2 percent to 2,990.69 points after hitting an intra-day low of 2,968.82 points, and the smaller Shenzhen Component Index dropped 1.82 percent to 9,417.93 points.

Turnover for Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses totaled 812.52 billion yuan (US$121 billion), compared with 1.05 trillion yuan the previous day.

The ChiNext, China's Nasdaq-style board of growth enterprises that has outperformed other domestic benchmarks this year, continued to withdraw by 2.58 percent to close at 1,650.19 points, with turnover shrinking further to 139.36 billion yuan from Wednesday's 184 billion yuan.

Aviation carriers, as well as liquor firms and cement manufacturers, were among the few sectors that registered increases. The country's three largest carriers led the rises, with China Eastern Airlines soaring 6.7 percent to 6.21 yuan, and China Southern Airlines and national flag-carrier Air China both gaining more than 4 percent.

Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd rose 3.18 percent to finish at 778 yuan. Anhui Gujing Distillery Co and Jinhui Liquor Co both advanced 4.38 percent to 87 yuan and 14.06 yuan, respectively.

Gansu Qilianshan Cement Group Co and Jiangxi Wannianqing Cement Co both surged by the 10-percent daily cap.

More than 100 companies on the two bourses suffered 10-percent drops. Notably, major gainers on previous trading days, including livestock- and poultry-raising firms, telecoms service providers, high-tech park developers and media companies, led today's declines, shedding 6.26 percent, 5.02 percent, 4.96 percent and 4.63 percent, respectively.

China's industrial output growth narrowed to 5.3 percent year on year in the first two months of 2019 from the 5.7 percent rise in December 2018, while retail sales of consumer goods jumped 8.2 percent between January and February from the same period a year ago, unchanged from last December, data released earlier today by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

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