After advancing for four straight trading days, stock markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen slipped back into loss territory Tuesday as the recent wave of euphoria surrounding construction-related stocks waned among investors.
The Shanghai Composite Index fell 14.34 points, or 0.67 percent, to close at 2,120.55; while the Shenzhen Component Index slumped 0.34 percent, or 30.07 points, to finish at 8,739.47.
Both indices opened lower Tuesday following overnight contractions in the US and European markets, and sank throughout most of the day thanks to drops in the heavily weighted cement, machinery, coal, real estate and environmental protection sectors, which had performed well in recent days after the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) unveiled plans to build a slew of new urban rail and infrastructure projects.
Although they were among the companies which benefited the most from the NDRC's recent construction push, cement makers recorded some of the day's biggest losses. Anhui Conch Cement Co lost 3.10 percent to 14.98 yuan ($2.37). Jiangxi Wannianqing Cement Co dived 3.32 percent to 11.35 yuan.
Banking stocks were another one of the heaviest drags on mainland markets Tuesday. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) slumped 0.26 percent to 3.79 yuan. Bank of China declined 0.73 percent to 2.72 yuan.
Chinese auto shares were shifted into high gear after figures released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) late Monday showed that auto sales in the country had grown 8.26 percent year-on-year in August. The CAAM also predicted that sales growth rates would accelerate in September and October. Zhongtong Bus Holding Co surged 1.84 percent to 6.63 yuan Tuesday.
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