BEIJING, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese stocks closed lower on Wednesday partly due to data showing tepid growth in bank lending, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index down 0.63 percent at 3,319.27 points.
The Shenzhen Component Index closed 1.17 percent lower at 13,308.52 points.
Chinese banks extended 992.7 billion yuan (about 143 billion U.S. dollars) in new yuan loans in July, down sharply from 1.81 trillion yuan in June and falling short of analysts' expectations, data by the People's Bank of China showed Tuesday.
The lower-than-expected bank lending numbers showed that the central bank was cautious about further loosening, partly leading to weaker sentiment and prompting investors to sell and lock in profits from recent gains.
The combined turnover of stocks covered by the two indices shrank to nearly 1.08 trillion yuan from 1.13 trillion yuan the previous trading day.
Gold shares led the declines after global gold futures plunged 4.6 percent on Tuesday, the biggest decrease in seven years.
Shares of Zhongjin Gold Corp., a leading gold producer, fell 8.14 percent to close at 10.15 yuan.
The ChiNext Index, China's NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, lost 1.98 percent to close at 2,635.5 points Wednesday.