BEIJING, Jul. 19 -- Chinese shares fell on Monday as property developers dropped on speculation that the government may take further steps to cool its scorching real estate market.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.12 percent, or 3.48 points, to finish at 2,816.69.
The Shenzhen Component Index dropped by 0.13 percent, or 16.39 points, to close at 12,490.55.
Combined turnover for the two bourses stood at 236.78 billion yuan (36.43 billion U.S. dollars).
Losers outnumbered gainers 447 to 438 in Shanghai and 718 to 548 in Shenzhen.
China Vanke Co., the country's biggest listed property developer, dipped 0.83 percent to 8.36 yuan per share, after the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said more Chinese cities reported lower or unchanged property prices in June.
Twenty-six cities out of a statistical pool of 70 major cities saw new home prices decline or remain unchanged from a month earlier, compared to 20 cities in May, the NBS said Monday.
Deluxe Family Co., a Shanghai-based developer, retreated 4.78 percent to 20.92 yuan per share, while China Baoan Group Co. fell 2.84 percent to 20.89 yuan.
Bank shares also posted sluggish performance on Monday. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country's biggest lender, fell 0.91 percent to 4.36 yuan, while China Minsheng Bank declined 0.86 percent to 5.74 yuan per share.
Bucking the trend, health care stocks rose after the Shanghai Securities News reported that the government will announce a biomedical development plan by the end of July.
Beijing Tongrentang Co., a retailer of traditional Chinese medicine, increased by 6.94 percent to 19.56 yuan, while Beijing Tiantan Biological Products Corp. rose by the 10-percent daily limit to 20.91 yuan per share.