May 8 (Bloomberg) -- China’s stocks rose for a fourth day, capping the longest stretch of gains for the benchmark index since March, after the nation’s trade expanded more than economists estimated.
SAIC Motor Corp. surged 5.5 percent, with consumer-discretionary companies rising after Bank of America Corp. said a jump in import growth signaled domestic demand was recovering. Chinese exports surged 14.7 percent in April amid investigations into the reliability of trade data. CSR Corp. climbed to the highest level in a month as the China Securities Journal reported Xinjiang plans 16.8 billion yuan ($2.7 billion) of rail investment. Beijing Tongrentang Co. jumped 3.6 percent after UBS AG said health-care stocks will extend this year’s rally.
“Investors were happy about the export data but they are staying cautious ahead of producer-price data, bank loans and all the other data slated to be out soon,” Xu Shengjun, analyst at Jianghai Securities Co. in Shanghai, said by phone.
The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.5 percent to 2,246.30 at the close, the highest level since March 27. CSI 300 Index added 0.5 percent to 2,542.80. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 1.5 percent.
The Shanghai Composite has slumped 7.7 percent from a Feb. 6 high on concern slowing economic growth is hurting earnings. The index trades at 9.2 times estimated earnings, compared with the seven-year average of 15.7, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Trading volumes on the measure were up 0.6 percent from the 30-day average.
Imports advanced 16.8 percent last month, exceeding analysts’ estimates for 13 percent growth, while the trade surplus was a higher-than-projected $18.2 billion, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. April exports compared with a gain of 9.2 percent in the median forecast of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News and 10 percent in March.
“The real situation for China’s exports may not be good as the new export order component” dropped, Ting Lu, China economist at Bank of America, wrote in a report today. “Meanwhile, some import data send encouraging signs that domestic demand is on track to a recovery.”
Consumer companies reliant on growth in the economy advanced. SAIC, the nation’s biggest automaker, rose 5.5 percent to 16.39 yuan after it reported April sales jumped 15.9 percent from a year earlier to 426,026 units. Great Wall Motor Co. surged 6.9 percent to 39.97 yuan, a record close. Gree Electric Appliances Inc. gained 2.2 percent to 27.31 yuan.
An economic recovery, more liquidity and interest from overseas investors will drive Chinese stock gains in the second quarter, UBS AG strategist Chen Li said via teleconference. He favors automobile, home appliance, property and consumer durable stocks. Health-care, clean energy, media, and consumer electronic shares will also continue to perform well, he said.
A gauge of drugmakers on CSI 300 rose 2.1 percent, extending this year’s rally to 23 percent, the most among 10 industry groups after phone stocks. Beijing Tongrentang, which produces traditional Chinese medicine, advanced for a fifth day, rising 3.6 percent to 24.48 yuan.
Trainmaker CSR Corp. increased 1.2 percent to 4.13 yuan. Rival China CNR Corp. advanced 0.7 percent to 4.27 yuan. Xinjiang province is planning the rail investment for this year, the China Securities Journal reported, citing the region’s Development and Reform Commission.
Haitong Securities Co., the second-biggest Chinese brokerage, slid 1.5 percent to 10.94 yuan after reporting profit of 403.7 million yuan last month, down from March’s 435.7 million yuan. Citic Securities Co., the largest brokerage, dropped 0.7 percent to 12.72 yuan.
The government is due to report inflation data tomorrow. Consumer prices gained 2.3 percent from a year earlier in April, below a government assumption for 2013 of 3.5 percent, following a 2.1 percent advance in March, a Bloomberg survey of 40 economists shows.
The Bloomberg China-US 55 Index, the measure of the most-traded U.S.-listed Chinese companies, added 1 percent in New York yesterday. The iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund climbed 1.1 percent. Baidu Inc., owner of China’s most-used online search engine, rose to a one-week high on prospects Internet video acquisitions will bolster its mobile presence.
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