China stocks fall, pulled down by finance sector shares
SHANGHAI, March 22 (Reuters) - China stocks closed lower on Tuesday, dragged down by a sell-off of finance industry shares.
The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 0.7 percent, to 3,225.79, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.6 percent, to 2,999.36 points.
The CSI300 Financial sub-index dropped 1.3 percent.
Analysts cited a variety of factors for the sell-off including Monday's central bank pension reform guidelines urging low cost finance for the elder care industry.
Several said the biggest factor was ongoing concern about comments by central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan on speculative capital and rising debt levels in the financial sector.
"Pension reform was very well forecasted and fairly vague," said Gilliam Hamilton, China analyst at the consultancy NSBO Research in Beijing.
"On the other hand there's a build-up of concern on leverage in large commercial banks," he said, noting when the People's Bank of China governor says an issue needs to be dealt with, then it gets attention as senior officials "are usually quite reticent"."
On Sunday, Zhou said overall leverage in China's economy was relatively high and that greater attention must be paid to the matter. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Richard Borsuk)
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