SHANGHAI, May 18 (Reuters) - China's benchmark stock index closed at the lowest level in 2-1/2 months on Wednesday, after comments from Federal Reserve officials rekindled prospects of a U.S. interest rate rise as early as June.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.3 percent, to 2,807.51 points, the lowest closing since March 1. The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.6 percent, to 3,068.04.
Sentiment in China had already been weak in recent months amid concerns that signs of recovery in its economy may be short-lived and worries that policymakers are growing more cautious about providing additional stimulus as bad debts mount.
Confidence was further hit on Wednesday by overnight weakness on the Wall Street, after strong U.S. consumer prices and other economic data added to the case for a rate increase soon.
Most sectors fell, but real estate shares bucked the broader market downdraft, rising 0.6 percent after encouraging home price data. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Richard Borsuk)