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Shares fall pending release of figures

SHANGHAI shares declined again yesterday in volatile trading ahead of the release of industrial output and other key economic data today.

The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.53 percent to close at 3,002.64 percent, with most of the losses coming in the last 30 minutes of the afternoon session.

The sharp corrections in resources shares deflated the key index, offsetting gains by financial firms such as New China Life Insurance Co which added nearly 4.3 percent to 41.5 yuan (US$6.25) on an announcement that Shanghai-based conglomerate Fosun Group acquired a 5-percent stake.

Raw material stocks lost 1.5 percent overall as investors cashed in recent gains, while energy shares lost momentum as oil prices tumbled.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp dipped 0.41 percent to 4.86 yuan, and Jiangxi Copper Corp shed 1.05 percent to 15.02 yuan.

Investors were subdued as they waited anxiously for the release today of July data on China’s industrial output, retail sales and fixed-asset investment.