Chinese stocks fell for a second day as losses by financial and industrial companies overshadowed gains by energy producers.
The Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.3 percent after tumbling as much as 4.5 percent on Wednesday. China Life Insurance Co., the nation’s biggest insurer, slid 2.1 percent after saying first-quarter profit slumped. Western Securities Co. paced losses by brokerages. China Avionics Systems Co. headed for its biggest decline this month. Shanxi Lu’an Environmental Energy Development Co. led gains by energy companies after crude’s recovery to about $44 a barrel.
Last month’s rebound in mainland equities is reversing amid concern that improving economic data and surging credit will prevent the government from adding stimulus. The Shanghai Composite has lost 1.6 percent in April, compared with a 2.7 percent advance by a gauge of global equities. Economists now see China’s central bank keeping its main interest rate on hold until the fourth quarter.
The Shanghai Composite traded at 2,963.30 at 9:42 a.m. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index was little changed, while the Hang Seng Index climbed 0.6 percent. PetroChina Co. and Cnooc Ltd. were the biggest gainers on the Hong Kong measure, advancing more than 2 percent, while Sands China Ltd. sank 4.3 percent after its net income missed estimates.