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China stocks fall, key index down 1.9 pct

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BEIJING, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese stocks continued to fall Tuesday, driven down by weak performances of ship manufacturers, furniture makers and cement producers.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1.87 percent, or 42.95 points, to finish at 2,248.59 points.

During Tuesday's trading, the key index dived to around 2,245 points, a figure comparable with the highest reading of the index during the trading day of June 14, 2001.

A Tuesday article that appeared in the financial news section of Sina.com, a popular Chinese Internet portal, said the Chinese stock market has stagnated during the 10-year period, even though the economy expanded from 10 trillion yuan (about 1.6 trillion U.S. dollars) to nearly 40 trillion yuan during the same period.

The Shenzhen Component Index dropped 1.98 percent, or 185.4 points to finish at 9,190.88.

Combined turnover sharply rose to 97.2 billion yuan from 70.49 billion yuan the previous trading day.

Shipbuilder shares sank across the board, as maritime businesses have flagged in the sluggish global economy. CSSC Jiangnan Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. fell 3.55 percent to close at 19.03 yuan per share.

Shares of furniture makers and cement producers were among the leading declines. Shenzhen-listed Der International Home Furnishing Co., Ltd. dropped 4.6 percent to 17.82 yuan. Jiangxi Wannianqing Cement Co., Ltd. slumped 5.47 percent to 10.03 yuan.

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