China stocks dive 6.3 percent to 25-month closing low

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s main stock index tumbled 6.32 percent on Monday to a 25-month closing low as worries about faltering corporate profits mounted with the arrival of the third-quarter earnings reporting season.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC ended at 1,723.351 points, near its intraday low of 1,721.604, its lowest level since Sep. 27, 2006.

Falling stocks in Shanghai overwhelmed gainers by 895 to 34, with more than 350 Shanghai A shares plunging by their 10 percent daily limit.

Turnover in Shanghai A shares was light at 32.1 billion yuan ($4.7 billion), up marginally from Friday’s 31.6 billion yuan.

The index slipped in the morning through technical support at 1,802 points, a low hit in mid-September when the government stepped in with measures to support the market.

“The drop below the 1,800 level spurred panic selling,” said Cao Xuefeng, an analyst at Western Securities.

PetroChina 601857.SS, the biggest stock in the index, tumbled 6.40 percent to 9.96 yuan.

($1=6.843 Yuan)

Reporting by Claire Zhang; Editing by Edmund Klamann