May 9, 2016 / 4:41 AM / 2 years ago

China stocks slump again on fading recovery hopes; Hong Kong shares firm

* CSI300 -1.7 pct; SSEC -2.2 pct; HSI +0.5 pct

* China recovery hopes dimmed by trade data, state media article

* China’s resource shares slump on lower commodity prices

SHANGHAI, May 9 (Reuters) - China stocks tumbled again on Monday morning, reaching eight-month lows, as investors saw hopes for a strong economic recovery fade and worried about fresh regulatory curbs against speculation.

But Hong Kong shares stayed firm, aided in part by the strong energy sector as crude oil prices soared on supply woes stemming from wildfires in Canada.

Following the market’s nearly 3 percent slump on Friday, China’s blue-chip CSI300 index fell 1.7 percent, to 3,076.76 points by lunch time, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 2.2 percent, to 2,848.16 points.

China April trade data released on Sunday doused investor hopes of a sustainable economic recovery, with both exports and imports falling more than expected, showing weak demand from both home and abroad.

Recovery hopes were further dimmed by an article on Monday in the People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece. It cited an “authoritative source” saying China’s economic trend will be “L-shaped”, rather than “U-shaped”, and definitely not “V-shaped”, but the government will not use excessive investment or rapid credit expansion to stimulate growth.

Song Yiwei, strategist for Bohai Securities in Tianjin, said “recovery in the first quarter was driven mainly by investment, and is short-lived, while deep-rooted structural problems persist.”

He said another reason for Monday’s weakness was fears of a fresh government crackdown on speculation, after the securities regulator said on Friday that the valuation gap between the domestic and overseas market and speculation on “shell” companies - firms used for backdoor listings - merited attention.

Shares fell across the board on the mainland, but relatively expensive small caps underperformed blue-chip sectors such as banking.

An index tracking raw material shares had tumbled 3.7 percent by the lunch break as China’s commodity prices continue to fall amid a government crackdown on speculative trading.

Reported by Samuel Shen and Nathaniel Taplin; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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