Real estate sector drags down market at midday


SHANGHAI stocks edged down this morning on concern the weak housing market will continue to drag the nation's economy down.

The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.65 percent, or 16.05 points to 2,435.90, Turnover stood at 53.2 billion yuan (US$8.44 billion) at the noon break.

Property developers extended yesterday's losses as the real estate sector continues to suffer from policies designed to curb prices. China Vanke, China's biggest developer by market value, lost 1.3 percent to 8.95 yuan. Poly Real Estate dropped 2.9 percent to 12.61 yuan. Gemdale Group fell 1.7 percent to 6.52 yuan.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China's largest lender, suspended a 15 percent discount on mortgages for first-time home buyers nationwide, Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday, raising concern housing demand will slump further.

Brokerages also dropped this morning. Sealand Securities slumped 7.35 percent to 25.20 yuan. Western Securities dropped 3.67 percent to 14.70 yuan. Hongyuan Securities fell 3.61 percent to 15.23 yuan.

The environmental protection sector continued yesterday's strong performance due to optimism about the country's green building market. Water Business Doctor, Safbon Water Service, and Canature Group all surged the day limit of 10 percent to 20.56 yuan, 24.56 yuan and 18.07 yuan respectively.

Energy-efficient buildings will account for 30 percent of the nation's new construction projects by 2020, according to a document jointly released by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.



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