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Stocks down on flash PMI, ChiNext news

By Wang Jiamei (Global Times)

08:23, April 24, 2012

Both the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets ended on drops Monday following a report that the country's manufacturing sector may see a continuing slowdown and the release of new delisting rules for the ChiNext board.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.76 percent, or 18.27 points, to close at 2,388.59; while the Shenzhen Component Index lost 0.54 percent, or 54.98 points, to finish at 10,076.05.

The Shanghai Composite opened slightly lower before waving around 2,400 points throughout the morning session. In afternoon trading, downward movement dominated the index, which took a hit from a slump on the ChiNext.

The market was overshadowed by the preliminary HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for April, released Monday. The gauge of China's manufacturing activity rose to a two-month high of 49.1 this month, up from the March reading of 48.3, indicating a manufacturing contraction for the sixth straight month.

Meanwhile, the heavy loss on the ChiNext dampened investor confidence after the Shenzhen Stock Exchange rolled out new delisting rules for ChiNext-listed companies Friday, effective from May 1. Analysts said that about 14 companies may face the risk of being removed from the board due to the tightened standards. The ChiNext board plummeted 5.25 percent to 690.43 points Monday, its biggest daily drop in more than three months.

The shipbuilding sector outperformed the market following news of a standoff between China and the Philippines over fishing rights in a disputed area of the South China Sea.

The combined turnover of the Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Component expanded 9.20 percent compared to Friday to 197.99 billion yuan ($31.39 billion). The two indices together saw 1,743 stocks lose in value and 550 gain.

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