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China: Stocks down in thin trading, hurt by regulatory measures

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[SHANGHAI] China stocks fell in timid trade on Wednesday, with sentiment dampened by a regulator's latest measures to put insurers' aggressive stock investments under stricter supervision.

Both the CSI300 index and the Shanghai Composite Index extended Tuesday's losses and fell 0.4 per cent, to 3,302.21 points and 3,102.54 points respectively.

Investor confidence was shaken by Wednesday's media reports that the vice chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) had said insurers were not platforms to enrich speculators.

Also on Wednesday, CIRC said it had suspended two insurers from online insurance business and ordered them not to apply for new product approvals for three months - the latest move to put insurers under closer supervision.

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All sectors in China stepped back, with the biggest declines seen in infrastructure and property shares , both down around 1 percent.

Strength in commodities helped offset some bearish sentiment towards raw materials and energy shares, with rebar and coke futures soaring around 5 per cent and 7 per cent respectively at one point.