China stocks ‘down sharply’

<p>Chinese property rules need to be relaxed.</p>

Chinese stocks are down sharply this morning (March 4th), leading for calls for the country's government to make changes to benefit the nation's property sector.

The Shanghai Composite was down more than 3.7 per cent in afternoon trading, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off by 1.6 per cent.

Mark Williams, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a research note that the time is right for property controls in China to be relaxed.

"Despite the policy-induced slowdown in activity, Chinese property remains on a wildly unsustainable path, developers actually completed just short of 11 million properties last year," he said.

Mr Williams stated this would be enough to meet demand, even as millions of Chinese people are expected to migrate from rural areas to cities in the coming years.

Last month, there were concerns that the Lunar New Year holiday may have seen a slowing in retail sales growth, with the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index dropping on February 18th.

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