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Weak data weighs on local stocks

By Yu Xi (Global Times)

08:21, July 06, 2012

The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets slipped again Thursday, dragging the Shanghai Composite Index to its lowest point of the week as concerns about China's economic slowdown deepened, say analysts.

The Shanghai Composite Index shed 25.96 points, or 1.17 percent, to close at 2201.35; while the Shenzhen Component Index slumped 156.51 points, or 1.64 percent, to finish at 9412.64.

Both markets opened lower yesterday due to flat performances overnight in European markets. The real estate sector was a strong gainer in the morning session, but the indices were dragged down due to contractions in the cement, coal and securities sectors. Both markets declined throughout much of the afternoon session, although a rally staged by insurance, environmental protection and oil stocks helped the indices recover some losses for a brief period as the closing bell approached.

"Most investors had hoped the domestic economy would bottom out in June; but data, such as PMI numbers, suggest that may not be the case … there are worries over next week's economic data," according to a report by Reuters Thursday, citing Chen Yi, an analyst at Xiangcai Securities.

The government is scheduled to implement new policies soon to allow insurance companies to invest in a wider range of bond products, according to a report by the Beijing Business Today Thursday. This will give insurers more opportunities to seek out higher returns, say experts.

China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co advanced 1.49 percent to 22.43 yuan ($3.52) thanks to the news, and China Life Insurance Co edged up 1.83 percent to 18.88 yuan.

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