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China stocks slump to six-month low

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BEIJING, July 16 (Xinhua) -- China's stocks slumped on Monday to their lowest level in more than six months, in the wake of growing market concerns over future economic prospects.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index plunged 1.74 percent, or 37.94points, to close at 2,147.96.

The Shenzhen Component Index tumbled 2.57 percent, or 251.6 points, to close at 9,540.89.

Losers outnumbered gainers 905 to 61 in Shanghai and 1,410 to 83 in Shenzhen. More than 100 shares dropped by the daily limit of 10 percent, while only three shares rose by 10 percent on the two bourses.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao warned over the weekend that the country's economy has not yet stabilized after a rebound and economic hardship may continue for some time, which largely dampened sentiments affecting Monday's markets.

Speaking during an inspection tour of southwest China's Sichuan province from Friday to Sunday, Wen called for greater efforts to further economic growth.

China's economy expanded 7.6 percent year on year in the second quarter of 2012, marking the sixth consecutive quarter of slowing down and the lowest growth rate since the third quarter of 2009, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.

Retailers led the market slide, with Suning Appliance Co., Ltd., China's largest home appliance retailer by market value, down by 10 percent to 7.28 yuan. The company announced on Friday that it has cut its mid-term performance forecast to a 20 to 30 percent year-on-year decline.

Automakers also tumbled 4.49 percent on Monday, with BYD Company Limited, the country's leading electric car maker, declining 9.97 percent to 17.15 yuan. Liaoning SG Automotive Group Co., Ltd. also slid 10 percent to 5.49 yuan.

Property developers saw weak performance. Shahe Industrial Co., Ltd. and China Baoan Group Co., Ltd. both slumped by the daily limit of 10 percent to 8.29 yuan and 8.66 yuan, respectively.

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