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Shanghai shares drop ahead of holiday
Aggregated Source: Shanghai Daily: Business

SHANGHAI stocks declined for a third straight day amid a cautious sentiment ahead of the three-day Qingming Festival holiday.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.11 percent to settle at 2,225.30 points, the lowest close since December 27. Daily turnover was 68.8 billion yuan (US$11.1 billion).

"Investors adopted a cautious stance in the last trading day before the holiday and concerns about a contraction in liquidity and a weak-than-expected economic recovery also buffeted the market," said Xu Xiaojing, analyst with BOC International (China) Ltd.

Han Hao, analyst with China Minzu Securities, said the market lacks of impetus after expectations over the two heavyweights- the lenders and the property developers- were dented by tightened controls on the sectors.

Last week, China's banking regulator tightened oversight on the off-balance sheet products in a bid to control the potential risk of the banking system and major cities in China issued follow-up guidelines on property curbs in an attempt to tame hiking home prices.

Han expected the index to decline further after the holiday if there is no positive factor to support the market.

Poultry stocks suffered as confirmed H7N9 bird flu cases increased to seven. Dahu Aquaculture Co dropped 4.2 percent to 7.14 yuan. Hunan New Wellful Co slumped 7 percent to 5.82 yuan.

Brokerages declined after data showed the gross profit of 10 major securities firms dropped 42.9 percent annually to 11.7 billion yuan in 2012. Citic Securities, the biggest listed brokerage, fell 1.4 percent to 12.12 yuan. Founder Securities Co decreased 2.1 percent to 7.33 yuan. Haitong Securities Co shed 1.5 percent to 10.10 yuan.

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