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China: Stocks slip as investors weigh lower economic growth

Friday, March 6, 2015 - 16:01
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China stocks fell on Friday as investors digested comments by top officials that highlighted growth and debt challenges the country faces this year.

[SHANGHAI] China stocks fell on Friday as investors digested comments by top officials that highlighted growth and debt challenges the country faces this year. "To withstand the downward pressures, we must adopt an appropriately expansionary fiscal policy," Finance Minister Lou Jiwei told the legislature on Friday. "We have to steadily deleverage, but must also prevent the economy from falling off a cliff." On Thursday, Premier Li Keqiang called annual economic growth of about 7 percent the "new normal".

The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 0.5 per cent on Friday, to 3,478.52, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 per cent, to 3,241.19 points.

On the week, the CSI300 was down 2.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite was down 2.1 per cent.

Analysts saw the weak economic environment and the government's policy stance as largely already priced into the market. "The recent rate cut and economic data were long expected,"said Liu Jingde, an analyst at Cinda Securities in Beijing. "The valuation of banks and brokerages has already been corrected to their average levels."

Total volume of A shares traded in Shanghai was 28.2 billion shares, while Shenzhen volume was 20.2 billion shares.

REUTERS