By Ye Zhen | 2012-10-29 | ONLINE EDITION
SHANGHAI stocks fell for a third day today, sending the key index to a four-week low as the market was overshadowed by poor earnings reports from China's industrial companies.
The key Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.35 percent, or 7.27 points, to 2,058.94 points, the lowest close since September 27. Turnover was 39.1 billion yuan (US$6.2 billion) at the trading close.
Market sentiment was lower after companies from China Pacific Insurance to Wuhan Iron and Steel Co posted losses. The downward pressure on the market will remain in the short term as more lackluster earnings reports are expected this week, Orient Securities said in a report.
Profits at China's major industrial companies expanded 7.8 percent from a year earlier to 464.3 billion yuan in September, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Saturday. The figure was a rebound from a 6.2 percent drop in August and added to the sign of an economic recovery.
Industrial profits fell 1.8 percent in the January-September period year on year, 1.3 percentage points lower than the decline in the first eight months, the bureau said.
China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co paced a decline for insurers, losing 3.2 percent to 18.25 yuan after reporting a 58.7 percent loss in third-quarter profit. Ping An Insurance Co, China's second largest insurer, dropped 4.2 percent to 38.06 yuan.
Wuhan Iron and Steel Co fell among most steel makers, shedding 0.8 percent to 2.43 yuan as the company's net earning in the first nine months shrank 80 percent annually to 3.3 billion yuan. Chongqing Iron and Steel Co sank 2.4 percent to 2.89 yuan. Baoshan Iron and Steel Co, China's largest listed steel mill, edged down 0.2 percent to 4.58 yuan.