April 18, 2019 / 4:56 AM / 3 months ago

China stocks dip as investors await fresh catalysts amid signs of nascent recovery

* SSEC -0.2 pct, CSI300 -0.3 pct, HSI -0.6 pct

* Signs of China economic stabilisation largedly priced in

* China stocks still have room to rise - Value Partners

SHANGHAI, April 18 (Reuters) - Shanghai stocks slipped on Thursday after previous session’s 13-month closing high, as investors awaited fresh catalysts following a spate of economic data this week that offered tentative signs of an economic rebound.

** The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent, to 3,255.67, while the blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.3 percent to 4,073.88. ** Hong Kong stocks also fell. The Hang Seng index dropped 0.6 percent to 29,942.83, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.8 percent to 11,753.35. * China’s economy grew at a steady 6.4 percent pace in the first quarter, data showed on Wednesday, defying expectations for a further slowdown, as industrial production jumped sharply and consumer demand showed signs of improvement. * With economic stabilisation largely priced in by a stock market that has jumped roughly 30 percent so far this year, caution prevailed as some investors waited for evidence that the recovery is sustainable.

* But Louis So, co-chief investment officer of Value Partners Group, said he remained optimistic toward Chinese stocks. “The stocks have risen a lot this year. But there’s no need to worry, because it’s just recouping last year’s losses, and we think there’s still room to rise,” he said, citing signs of economic recovery, relatively low valuations, and continuous foreign money inflows.

** China’s CSI300 financial sector sub-index fell 0.57 percent, the consumer staples sector lost 0.21 percent, the real estate index eased 1.26 percent and the healthcare sub-index shed 0.64 percent. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.26 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.47 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index fell 0.34 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index lost 0.69 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.6954 per U.S. dollar, 0.11 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.688. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Jiangsu Chengxing Phosph-Chemical Co Ltd, up 10.11 percent, followed by China Publishing & Media Holdings Co Ltd, which gained 10.06 percent and Henan Ancai Hi-tech Co Ltd, which added 10.03 percent. ** The largest percentage losers in the Shanghai index were Xinjiang Xintai Natural Gas Co Ltd, down 10 percent, followed by Jiangsu Wanlin Modern Logistics Co Ltd, which lost 6.92 percent and Henan Thinker Automatic Equipment Co Ltd, which shed 6.79 percent. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Tower Corp Ltd , up 5.24 percent, followed by China Gas Holdings Ltd , which added 1.02 percent and Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd, which gained 0.87 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were BYD Co Ltd, down 4.27 percent, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, down 3.5 percent and China Telecom Corp Ltd , down 2.4 percent.

Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Shreejay Sinha

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