Chinese shares close lower as investor sentiment remains fragile

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-22 17:20:39|Editor: ying
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BEIJING, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese stocks closed lower Monday as investor sentiment remained fragile after the government escalated stricter regulatory scrutiny on financial markets.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index went down 0.48 percent to end the day at 3,075.68 points, and the smaller Shenzhen Component Index closed 0.72 percent lower at 9,899.65 points.

Total turnover on the two bourses slightly picked up to 387 billion yuan (56.3 billion U.S. dollars) from 353.8 billion yuan the previous trading day.

The ChiNext Index, China's NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, ended 0.72 percent lower to close at 1,788.08 points.

China's stock market has maintained a downward trend since the government took multi-pronged efforts to crack down on financial irregularities, which investors fear will squeeze liquidity.

Bucking the broad declining sentiment, oil and gas stocks logged strong performance as Chinese authorities Sunday announced planned oil and gas industry reforms to allow the market to play a decisive role.

The plan reaffirmed commitment to deepening the reform of state-owned oil and gas companies, encouraging eligible enterprises to diversify their shareholder base and introduce mixed-ownership reform.

Oil giant Sinopec went up 1.88 percent to end the day at 5.95 yuan per share, while China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) gained 1.18 percent to 7.69 yuan.

The steel sector also outperformed, with Baosteel Group rising 2.67 percent to end the day at 6.15 yuan.