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Chinese shares fall for 4th day
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Chinese shares closed 0.84 percent lower on Thursday, falling for the fourth consecutive day, dragged down by insurance and banking shares.

The fall showed investor confidence was still low, though the central bank had cut the interest rate and reserve requirement to boost the economy late on Wednesday, analysts said.

In the morning session, the Shanghai Composite Index opened at 2,125.57 points, up 33.34 points or 1.59 percent from the previous close. The Shenzhen Component Index opened at 7,043.55 points, up 119.06 points or 1.71 percent.

However, the rise did not end three straight days of falls that started on Monday when the market resumed trading after the weeklong National Day holiday. Indices began to drop in the afternoon session.

Finally, the Shanghai index lost 17.64 points to end at 2,074.58. Shenzhen closed at 6,758.21 points, down 166.27 points or 2.4 percent.

Aggregate turnover shrank to 51 billion yuan (US$7.47 billion) from previous day's 57.5 billion yuan. Losses outnumbered gains by 1,056 to 376, while 167 stocks were unchanged.

Although the reserve requirement ratio cut was expected to benefit banks, confidence in bank shares remained low, said market analysts.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China dipped 0.25 percent to 4.06 yuan. The Bank of China slid 0.6 percent to 3.32 yuan, while the Bank of Communications lost 1.9 percent to close at 5.05 yuan.

China Life, the country's largest life insurer, saw its shares drop 0.96 percent to close at 20.62 yuan.

On Wednesday evening, the People's Bank of China, the central bank, announced deposit and lending rates would be lowered by 0.27 percentage points on Thursday and the reserve-requirement ratio would be down by 0.5 percentage point from Oct. 15.

The cuts, the second in less than a month, highlighted the government's rising concern over the slowing economy and slumping capital market, analysts said.

(Xinhua News Agency October 9, 2008)

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