China shares ease on 2007's last trading day amid concern over Bhutto's death

2007-12-28 01:46:12 Xinhua English

BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese shares ended the 2007 trading year lower on Friday, in line with world markets, following the assassination overnight of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

After gaining 2,586.09 points since the last trading day of 2006, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.89 percent, or 47.3 points, to close at 5,261.56 points.

Heavyweights slumped. PetroChina, the largest-cap stock on the Chinese market, dropped 1.37 percent to 30.96 yuan (about 4.25 U.S. dollars).

Tourism and hotel stocks rose on expectations that the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays, which fall in early February, would bring benefits.

Analysts attributed Friday's declines to weakness in the international markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 192 points, or 1.4 percent, to 13,359.61 on Thursday as investors reacted nervously to Bhutto's death. Japan's key Nikkei Index and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong dropped 1.65 percent and 1.43 percent, respectively.

The Hushen 300 Index, which accounts for 60 percent of the Chinese stock market's value, dropped 0.55 percent, to 5,338.27 points.

The combined turnover on the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses dropped to about 190 billion yuan from Thursday's 200 billion yuan.