HONG KONG Feb 18 Shanghai shares fell from a two-month high on Tuesday, as China's central bank drained 48 billion yuan ($7.92 billion) from the country's money market after data showed new loans surged in January to their highest in four years.
The Shanghai Composite Index, which finished Monday at its highest since Dec. 18, ended down 0.8 percent at 2,119.1 points. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings sank 1.3 percent.
Losses came in fairly robust Shanghai volumes after the People's Bank of China (PBOC), for the first time in eight months, used 14-day forward bond repurchase agreements to drain funds. The action came at the first of its two weekly scheduled open market operations.
The PBOC had drained 450 billion yuan last week as it continued to taper a pre-Lunar New Year cash injection.
On Saturday, January bank lending figures handily beat expectations, in spite of a credit clampdown by the Chinese central bank. The loan news followed earlier announcements of solid China trade and benign inflation data.
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group surged 8.7 percent in its biggest single-day gain in four months after the company said that it and private equity firm TPG will take hospital operator Chindex International Inc private in a $369 million deal. (Reporting by Clement Tan; Editing by Richard Borsuk)