Chinese stocks continued to slip on Friday, adding to recent fluctuations caused by market jitters ahead of the release of economic data scheduled for next week.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.78 percent at 2,984.96 points, retreating below the 3,000-point psychological benchmark.
The smaller Shenzhen index went down 0.87 percent to end at 10,413.54 points. The ChiNext Index, which tracks China's NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, lost 0.83 percent to close at 2,229.93 points.
A slew of economic indicators for the first quarter, including GDP growth, inflation and trade, will be released by statistics authorities on April 15. Investors remained cautious due to lingering uncertainties about whether economic growth will hold steady or continue to slow.
The declines also followed big losses by U.S. stocks on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.98 percent, while the S&P 500 shed 1.20 percent.
Shipmaking, securities and military sectors suffered the most, while companies in gold and steel production rose against the trend.
CITIC Securities analyst Sun Xiwei said the market is experiencing a prolonged period of fluctuation.
Previous market leaders in driverless cars and Internet finance have shown signs of weakening due to profit-taking, and market sentiment started to be weighed down by expectations of rising inflation and downward pressure of the renminbi, China's currency.
Despite the volatility, Sun predicted the market will trend upward thanks to a stabilizing economy and low systemic risks.
China's foreign exchange reserves rose in March, ending five consecutive monthly declines and easing fears about a weak yuan and capital outflow, official data showed.
The improvement will help restore investor confidence, Sun said.
Total turnover on the two bourses dropped markedly to 585.07 billion yuan (90.38 billion U.S. dollars), down from 698.56 billion yuan on the previous trading day.
Losers outnumbered gainers by 708 to 257 in Shanghai and 1,052 to 468 in Shenzhen.