SHANGHAI, April 19 China's main indexes fell for
their fourth straight session on Wednesday, as investor worries
deepened that tighter regulations against speculation and shadow
banking will hurt the country's credit-fuelled recovery.
The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.5 percent to
3,445.88 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost
0.8 percent to 3,170.69 points.
Small-caps stocks, in particular start-ups, fared poorly
with the ChiNext index closing at a three-month low.
Analysts attributed the recent market weakness to worries
that China's stimulus-driven recovery since late last year is
fading amid the government's renewed campaign against excessive
leverage and asset bubbles.
"Tough regulations have soured the market mood," said Wu
Kan, Shanghai-based head of equity trading at Shanshan Finance.
China has stepped up property curbs in major cities,
launched a nationwide inspection on banks' businesses with a
focus on shadow banking, and vowed to fight speculation in the
Underscoring the painful trade-off China is facing, the
International Monetary Fund on Tuesday warned of potential
economic disruptions in the medium-term if it failed to reduce
its reliance on rapid credit growth.
Some investors worry that strong economic growth reported in
the first quarter will begin to ease in coming months as the
effect of earlier stimulus starts to fade, and as local
governments announce tougher measures to curb the overheated
The central bank has also signalled a move to a tighter
monetary policy bias, raising short-term interest rates to
contain risks in the system and discourage speculation.
Shares fell across the board, with raw material shares
among the worst hit as commodity prices fell
But consumer and healthcare stocks -
generally viewed as defensive in nature - continued to
outperform the broader market, which fund manager Wu attributed
to the need for "investors to gather together for warmth" amid a
time of volatility.
(Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Sam