Chinese shares hit a five-year low Thursday, state media reported. The benchmark Shanghai composite index, grouping A shares and hard-currency B shares, finished down 1.9% at 1,284.307 points after touching 1,281.749 ï¿½ its lowest level since June 4, 1999. Heavy selling of blue-chips by institutional investors added to already weak investor confidence in China's stagnant markets. Among the biggest price losers was steel maker Baosteel with its A shares dropping 3.1%, to RMB 5.89 (US$0.711). A drop below the psychologically significant 1,300 level is expected to further undermine investor confidence, analysts said. In total, the Shanghai composite has plunged by more than 27% since early April.
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