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Equity sell-off in China, Oct. 20

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decline1 October 20, 2011 (Chinavestor) Asian investors remained defensive on Thursday, sending the Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI) and the Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001) to a universal decline. Had it not been for a relatively small decline of index heavy weight Petrochina Co. Ltd. (SHA:601857), Sinopec (SHA:600028) and ICBC (SHA:601398), the Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001) would have fallen a lot harder. Still, mainland China's broadest index is off to a new 31 month low.

The decline was universal in Hong Kong as well. All but five components of the 42 member Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI) fell. Chinese stocks led the decline in Hong Kong. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (INDEXHANGWENG:.HSCEI), measuring the performance of Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong, fell 2.67%, twice that of the broad index. China Life Insurance (HKG:2628) fell hard on outlook and Aluminum Corp. of China (HKG:2600) on weak demand and falling commodity prices.

pre_20111020

All but one stock of the Xinhua 25 Index fell, boding ill for the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (NYSE:FXI) before the open. Huaneng Power (HKG:0902) was the only component of the index able to repel selling pressure.

Chinese solar and internet stocks fell hard on the NYSE and NASDAQ on Wednesday as Europe's sovereign debt problems dragged on. But investor mood may change over the weekend when a summit of all European leaders will convene.



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