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Housing data scuttles real estate stocks

By Yu Xi (Global Times)

09:06, July 19, 2012

The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets ended at odds Wednesday, although contractions in the real estate sector weighed heavily on both bourses.

The Shanghai Composite Index edged up 7.91 points, or 0.37 percent, to close at 2,169.10; while the Shenzhen Component Index retreated 0.48 percent, or 45.86 points, to finish at 9,514.17.

Both markets opened lower Wednesday, and drifted downward during the morning session as real estate, cement and non-ferrous metal stocks took losses. The slump carried throughout most of afternoon trading thanks to drops in the brewing, tourism and traditional Chinese medicine sectors. Gains to securities, banking and coal stocks helped the indices recover from their earlier slide, although only the Shanghai Composite was able to pull off a victory for the day.

Real estate stocks fell roundly Wednesday after the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released a report showing that homes in only 25 out of 70 major urban housing markets saw their prices rise month-on-month in June.

"The upcoming earnings for the Chinese property sector will be bad, but investors will probably gloss over that. Policy will still be key and [investors] will be watching the guidance the companies provide, especially on their margins since there have been a lot of price cuts," according to a report by Reuters Wednesday, citing Lee Wee-Liat, BNP Paribas' head of Asia property research.

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