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China Stocks Fall to 7-Week Low as PBOC Fails to Cut

Chinese stocks
A customer watches share prices on an electronic stock board at a securities firm in Shanghai. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Chinese stocks slumped, dragging the benchmark gauge to the lowest level in seven weeks, as small companies dropped and the central bank’s first cash injection in two weeks failed to reduce money-market rates.

Tsinghua Tongfang Co., a maker of personal computers, tumbled 4 percent to lead losses among technology companies. Zhejiang Beingmate Technology Industry & Trade Co. fell 7 percent after net income plunged. The ChiNext index of small companies slid 1.4 percent, paring a loss of as much as 5.8 percent, as price swings approached last week’s record high. The fixing on the seven-day money-market rate rose seven basis points to 5 percent. Ping An Bank Co. rallied 7.5 percent, pacing gains for financial companies.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 percent to 2,128.86 at the close, after sliding as much as 1.9 percent. The measure gained as much as 1.4 percent in the morning. The People’s Bank of China added 13 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) using seven-day reverse-repurchase agreements today, according to a trader at a primary dealer required to bid at the auctions.

“We were rising in the morning because of the reverse repo, but after pricing that in, we have to note the market is still in a weak mode,” said Zhang Haidong, analyst at Tebon Securities Co. in Shanghai. “Liquidity is still tight.”

The Shanghai measure has lost 2.1 percent this month, poised for the first decline since June, and trades at 8.4 times projected profits for the next 12 months. That’s lower than the seven-year average of 15.4.

The CSI 300 Index advanced 0.3 percent to 2,372.05. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies traded in Hong Kong climbed 1.2 percent, led by banks and Anhui Conch Cement Co. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index fell 1.2 percent in New York yesterday.

Company Earnings

Trading volumes in the Shanghai index were 3.5 percent below the 30-day average for this time of day, after falling to the lowest level in two months yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Earnings at the 146 companies in the Shanghai gauge tracked by Bloomberg that reported results so far this quarter have trailed analyst estimates by 5.7 percent.

Tsinghua Tongfang dropped to 8.38 yuan. A gauge of technology companies fell 2 percent on the CSI 300, the most among 10 industry groups. Zhejiang Beingmate slumped 7 percent to 33.75 yuan after third-quarter net income plunged 59 percent from a year ago. The ChiNext’s 100-day volatility was at 34.66 today, near the record high of 34.99 set last week. The Shenzhen-listed index pared this year’s gains to 77 percent.

“Small-cap companies had risen a lot previously and earnings so far aren’t good, so it’s damping market sentiment,” says Wei Wei, an analyst at West China Securities. “There’s still concern about the economy. The only thing supporting the market today is banking stocks.”

Lenders Gain

Ping An Bank climbed 7.5 percent to 14.12 yuan. Industrial Bank Co. advanced 4.8 percent to 12.09 yuan.

China may start a trial of preferred share offerings in industries including banking and electricity generation, the China Securities Journal reported, citing unidentified investment bankers. Preferred shares would allow lenders to replenish their balance sheets, David Poh, the regional head of portfolio-management solutions at Societe Generale’s private bank, said last month.

“This could alleviate some of the funding pressure faced by medium-size banks,"said Gerry Alfonso, a trader at Shenyin & Wanguo in an e-mail.

Hong Kong

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. led a rally for Chinese banks trading in Hong Kong, rallying 2.7 percent to HK$5.34. China Construction Bank Corp., the biggest lender in the nation after ICBC, climbed 2.3 percent to HK$5.90. Anhui Conch Cement jumped 4.1 percent to HK$26.55 after the company reported third-quarter profit jumped to 2.32 billion yuan from 1 billion yuan in the same period last year.

The Shanghai index has slumped 6.2 percent this year on concerns a slowing economy will hurt profit growth and the government will introduce measures to curb property-price gains.

The iShares China Large-Cap ETF, the largest Chinese exchange-traded fund in the U.S., climbed 0.3 percent to $36.55 in New York. NQ Mobile Inc. extended its three-day plunge to 62 percent after Muddy Waters LLC accused it of fabricating revenue, while Inc. tumbled on plans to boost marketing expenses.

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