The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed at its lowest level in more than a year, ending the day at 3,072 points, the Wall Street Journal reported. The index fell 7.7%, its biggest drop since last June’s stamp duty increase. At its close, the index was almost 50% below its peak last October. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 4%. Analysts said the drop could be attributed to China’s central bank’s latest reserve requirement ratio hike – by one percentage point to 17.5% – a move that is aimed at lowering inflation rates. There were also concerns that China’s economic growth had peaked. "According to our initial judgment, 2007 was probably the peak point of the current Chinese economic growth curve. The growth rate from this year on will slow down gradually," the deputy director of China’s National Bureau of Statistics said to state media yesterday.
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