China Stocks Boosted by State-Owned Builders; Coal Miners Slip

  • Profit growth at industrial firms accelerated in November
  • China Gezhouba Group, Shanghai Tunnel Engineering advance

China’s state-backed builders extended a rally while energy firms dropped amid thin year-end trading in the world’s second-biggest stock market.

The Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.3 percent lower at 3,114.66. China Gezhouba Group Co. and Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co. rose, while the coal miner Guanghui Energy Co. slipped. The Shenzhen Composite Index added 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s markets were closed as the city wraps up a four-day holiday weekend.

Profit growth at industrial firms in China accelerated last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday, a day after the Ministry of Transport helped lift shares in construction firms by announcing plans to spend 1.8 trillion yuan ($259 billion) on highways and waterways in 2017. The government will also promote asset securitization in public-private partnership projects in infrastructure, the National Development and Reform Commission and the securities regulator said on Monday.

"The joint notice from the NDRC and CSRC was beyond market expectations and would be a catalyst for further development of PPP projects next year," said Zhou Song, Shanghai-based analyst at Changjiang Securities Co. "It would help to make PPP projects more attractive to private capital, which in turn supports infrastructure construction."

Industrial profits rose 14.5 percent in November from a year earlier to 774.6 billion yuan, the statistics bureau said. That compared with the 9.8 percent increase in October. Earnings in the first 11 months climbed 9.4 percent to 6.03 trillion yuan.

  • Dam builder and cement producer China Gezhouba Group advanced 2.6%, Shanghai Tunnel Engineering rose 1.9%, China Railway Construction Corp. added 0.8%
  • Guanghui Energy and Shaanxi Coal Industry Co. slipped 0.4%. Benchmark Qinhuangdao coal prices fell for a seventh week to an average of 639 yuan per metric ton, according to data from the China Coal Transport & Distribution Association
  • Shanghai’s benchmark gauge has fallen 4.2% in December, paring its gains for the fourth quarter to 3.7%. The index is down 12% in 2016, set for its biggest loss in five years
  • Volume on the CSI 300 was 46% lower than the 30-day average for the time of day
  • Sealand Securities Co. has signed agreements with seven institutions involved in a scandal related to bonds with forged seals, according to a statement given to the Shenzhen stock exchange. The company plans to sign pacts with other parties as soon as possible. Trading in the companies’ shares has been halted since a former employee was found to have forged a seal to conduct bond trading, an episode that has worried the bond market. A similar problem has been found at China Guangfa Bank
  • The Hang Seng Index has lost 5.3% in December and tumbled 7.4% in the fourth quarter. The gauge is down 1.6% this year
  • Hong Kong may report 34,700 registered sales of used-homes in 2016, fewer than the 2003 low of 35,630, Centaline Property Agency said on Monday. A measure of property companies listed in the city has fallen for 10 days, its longest losing streak since August 2015

— With assistance by Helen Sun

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