Chinese markets were down sharply at close Wednesday with the Shanghai Composite Index declining 3.3% to 2333.41 on speculation that the launching of an international board would drive down demand for existing B shares on the exchange, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Shenzhen Composite index was down 4% to 994.02. Foreign currency-denominated B shares lead the declines on both bourses. Xu Ming, the executive vice president in charge of Shanghai’s international stocks board, told Bloomberg last month that the international board was “basically ready” although a launch date has not been set. An expected decline in the manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) from 50.4 to 49.7, according to Dow Jones forecasts, also hurt markets. A rating below 50 indicates a contraction in manufacturing. “The speculation hurt the already-fragile sentiment and led to a massive sell-off,” said Tang Yonggang, a Hong Yuan Securities analyst.