BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese shares tumbled Wednesday after Premier Wen Jiabao said China will not halt its efforts to reign in housing prices.
The current housing prices are still far from falling back to a reasonable level, Wen said at a press conference after the conclusion of China's annual parliamentary session.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index plunged after a small rebound the previous trading day. The index fell 2.63 percent, or 64.57 points, to end at 2,391.23, the lowest close in almost three weeks.
The Shenzhen Component Index slumped 3.19 percent, or 332.35 points, to end at 10,094.89.
Losers outnumbered gainers by 897 to 44 in Shanghai and by 1,342 to 74 in Shenzhen.
Combined turnover of the two bourses sharply expanded to 327.6 billion yuan (51.8 billion U.S. dollars) from 201.5 billion yuan the previous trading day.
At Wednesday's press conference, Wen called for long-term, steady and sound development of China's property market, saying the gains will be lost and chaos will occur in the housing sector if the current regulations are loosened.
The government's firm stance on property market control hit the sector, leading to the decline of the cement and property shares.
Shares of property developers dropped 4.93 percent with China Vanke, the nation's largest property developer by market value, down 2.7 percent to 8.29 yuan per share; Poly Real Estate fell 3 percent to 11 yuan.
The cement sector slid across the board with Hebei Urban Construction Development Co., Ltd. down 9.82 percent to 6.89 yuan; Shanghai Zhezhong Construction co., Ltd. dropped 6.74 percent to 13.56 yuan.
The downward movement of the property and cement sectors was further followed by a slide of other shares in the ship-building, entertainment, and coal sectors.
Shipmakers extended losses from Tuesday with CSSC Jiangnan Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. down 7.07 percent to 18.01 yuan; China CSSC Holdings Ltd. slid 5.41 percent to 36.01 yuan.
China Shenhua Energy Company Limited, the nation's largest coal producer, fell 2.95 percent to 26.35 yuan; Jishi Media Co., Ltd. plunged 8.92 percent to 11.23 yuan.