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Shanghai shares end lower on slower trade
Aggregated Source: Shanghai Daily: Business

SHANGHAI stocks declined for a second day after data showed China's trade surplus narrowed in February.

The key Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.24 percent to 2,318 points. Turnover was 88.4 billion yuan (US$14.3 billion) by the trading close. The index lost 1.73 percent for the week.

China posted a trade surplus of US$15.3 billion in February, down from January's surplus of US$29.2 billion, data from the General Administration of Customs showed this morning.

February exports rose 21.8 percent year on year to US$139.4 billion, but imports dropped 15.2 percent to US$124.1 billion, compared with a surge of 28.8 percent in January, data showed.

The customs attributed the decline in imports to fewer working days in February due to the week-long Spring Festival holiday.

Tao Jinfeng, an analyst with Guotai Junan Futures, said that despite of seasonal factors, the big fall in imports reflected weaker domestic demand, indicating the country's economic recovery is still unstable."

Most property developers retreated after a report in the China Securities Journal said the government may increase the down-payment requirement for second homes to 70 percent and raise the interest rate of mortgage loans to 1.3 times the benchmark interest in cities that saw rising home prices.

Shanghai Xinmei Real Estate Co fell 5.37 percent to 6.34 yuan. Deluxe Family Co slumped 6.8 percent to 5.78 yuan. Gemdale Corporation shed 1.2 percent to 6.33 yuan.

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