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China shares fall back as officials mum on policy

China shares fall back as officials mum on policy

Chinese stocks were lower in early trading Thursday, a day after their biggest gain in four months, as officials remained silent on speculation that market-boosting measures are forthcoming.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 2.6 percent, or 66.39 points, to 2,456.89 by midday. It gained 7.6 percent on Wednesday after a research report suggested the government was planning a major economic stimulus package, fanning hopes that the market might finally end its long downward correction.
Investors sold to cash in profits from the day before, with the market's biggest listed share, PetroChina, losing 2.8 percent to 13.83 yuan.
Fellow refiner China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. slipped 4.1 percent to 10.39 yuan as crude oil prices rebounded to above US$116 a barrel.
Among other major decliners, newly listed China Southern Locomotive & Rolling Stock sank 9 percent to 3.53 yuan, Baoshan Iron & Steel lost 4.4 percent to 7.00 yuan and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China dropped 1.8 percent to 4.81 yuan.
However, CITIC Securities advanced, gaining 3.5 percent to 19.35 yuan following reports a company official had denied holding talks with Lehman Brothers on a possible stake investment.