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SHANGHAI: Chinese shares ended lower on Wednesday, as investors remained on edge over concerns the commodity prices’ rally would have a wider impact on the world’s second-largest economy, while new domestic coronavirus cases also weighed on risk sentiment.

China’s blue-chip CSI300 index ended 0.92% lower at 4,226.35, the lowest close since June 30, 2020, after falling as much as 4.6% in the afternoon trade. The Shanghai Composite index was down 1.13% at 3,256.39.

“Panic sell-offs” led to consecutive sharp falls, mainly due to external factors such as global inflationary risks as commodity prices reached decade-highs amid the conflict in Ukraine, said Yang Delong, chief economist at Shenzhen-based First Seafront Fund Management Co.

Sentiment was weak as investors expect the government to launch more measures to curb the spread of the virus, likely denting growth in the consumer sector, said Yang.

China’s factory inflation in February eased to the slowest annual pace in eight months due to seasonal effects from the Lunar New Year holiday, but analysts expect it to rise in the coming months because of surging global commodity prices.

Shares of companies exposed to Tsingshan Holding Group, the Chinese nickel producer squeezed by the surge in the metal’s prices, tumbled with Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt slumping nearly 10%.

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