Most Chinese Stocks Drop as Industrial, Consumer Shares Retreat

  • Weaker data, concern over lack of new stimulus hurts equities
  • Shanghai Composite is world's worst performer this year

Most Chinese stocks declined, led by industrial and consumer-staples companies, as investors awaited the release of economic data. Gains by power producers capped losses.

More than two shares fell for each that rose on the Shanghai Composite Index, which slipped less than 0.1 percent. A gauge of industrial companies sank the most among industry groups, while Sichuan Chuantou Energy Co. jumped the most this year to lead utility stocks higher. Data on new loans and money supply may be released as early as Thursday, while reports on industrial production and retail sales are also due this week.

The most recent figures have showed March’s pick up in economic indicators didn’t carry over to April, with manufacturing gauges and trade data missing predictions, while a warning about the nation’s high debt levels by the People’s Daily has damped hopes for more easing. Investor interest in the world’s second-largest equity market is turning cold as the Shanghai gauge trails all global benchmark gauges tracked by Bloomberg this year with a 20 percent loss.

“It seems the economy will stay at these low levels for a very long time and investors are not expecting further stimulus,” said Steven Leung, an executive director for institutional sales at UOB-Kay Hian Holdings Ltd. “People are getting quite nervous about the debt market situation in China.”

Purchase Denied

The Shanghai measure dropped to 2,835.86. The Hang Seng China Enterprises slid 0.4 percent at the close in Hong Kong, while the Hang Seng Index declined 0.7 percent. CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. closed at a three-month low after European Union regulators vetoed the company’s plan to buy U.K. carrier O2 for as much as 10.25 billion pounds ($15 billion).

China’s banks probably doled out new yuan loans worth 800 billion yuan ($123.1 billion) in April, down from 1.37 trillion yuan the previous month, according to economist estimates.

A measure of industrial companies declined 0.6 percent, the most among industry gauges on the CSI 300 Index. Spring Airlines Co. dropped 3.9 percent and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone Group Co. retreated 3.4 percent. Gauges of consumer-staples and health-care companies, which jumped 2.4 percent on Wednesday, slid 0.4 percent each.

Declines were limited by utility companies, with Sichuan Chuantou Energy rallying 4 percent and Shanghai Electric Power Co. climbing 3.8 percent.

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