Shanghai stocks sink amid pandemic fears

Hu Yumo
The Shanghai benchmark shed 3.4 percent as industrial output fell sharply and the global COVID-19 outbreak becomes worse than expected.
Hu Yumo

Shanghai stocks plummeted on Monday as market confidence weakened amid concerns about the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 3.4 percent to close at 2,789.25 points.

Telecommunication, brokerage and electronic manufacturing stocks were among the biggest decliners.

Investors turned cautious after China's industrial output posted the sharpest drop in 30 years in the first two months of 2020.

Output was down 13.5 percent in January-February compared with the same period a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

China's central bank announced on Friday that it would implement targeted reserve requirement ratio cuts for eligible banks from March 16 to support the economy. The move will release 550 billion yuan (US$78.57 billion) in long-term funds.

Huatai Securities said in a report that the global market fluctuated sharply last week, and investors turned cautious as the spread of the epidemic overseas was worse than expected. 

Eastern Communications Co Ltd declined 5.1 percent to 17.88 yuan and Hundsun Technologies Inc fell 7.39 percent to 85 yuan.

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