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Chinese shares fell for a fourth straight day on Wednesday as investors have turned more cautious on tightened regulation.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.81 percent to close at 3,170.69 points. The smaller Shenzhen Component Index lost 0.61 percent to 10,348.41 points. The ChiNext Index, China's NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, edged down 0.15 percent to 1,845.38 points. Total turnover on the two bourses rose slightly to 493.57 billion yuan (71.88 billion U.S. dollars), slightly up from the previous trading day.
Analysts attributed the bearish performance partly to strengthened financial regulation.
The banking regulator announced an array of measures to rein in high-risk business of banks and crack down on shadow banking, while the securities watchdog acted hard against speculation and manipulation. The official moves will to some extent drain liquidity and push up interest rates, which means less capital inflow for the stock market, said Wang Delun, an analyst with Industrial Securities. The shipbuilding, cement and coal sectors led the declines, while some heavyweights also tumbled. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country's largest bank by assets, dropped 1.04 percent to 4.74 yuan per share, while China's largest oil refinery PetroChina Company slipped 2.01 percent to 7.8 yuan per share. Bucking the trend, companies related to environmental protection saw marked increases.
China's GDP posted forecast-beating growth of 6.9 percent in the first quarter, which, analysts said, allows financial regulators to channel more energy into de-leveraging, squeezing asset bubbles and defusing risks.