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Chinese Stocks Plunge Most in Six Years on Lending Curbs

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Chinese equities plunged the most in six years, led by brokerages, after regulatory efforts to rein in record margin lending sparked concern that speculative traders will pull back from the world’s best-performing stock market.

The Shanghai Composite Index sank 7.7 percent to 3,116.35 at the close, its steepest drop since June 2008. Citic Securities Co. and Haitong Securities Co., the nation’s two biggest listed securities firms, fell by the 10 percent daily limit after they were suspended from loaning money to new equity-trading clients and regulators said brokerages shouldn’t lend to investors with assets below 500,000 yuan. About nine stocks dropped for each that rose on the Shanghai gauge, with more than 100 companies retreating by the maximum allowed.