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Mainland markets post mixed results as investors await July indicators

By Yu Xi (Global Times)

09:26, August 09, 2012

Stock markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen finished at odds Wednesday as investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of the release of a slew of macro-economic data points for July, which may offer investors insight into the effects of recent policy moves.

The Shanghai Composite Index edged up 3.37 points, or 0.16 percent, to close at 2,160.99; while the Shenzhen Component Index declined 0.20 percent, or 18.60 points, to finish at 9,210.67.

Both benchmarks opened higher Wednesday following strong performances in the US and European markets. In the morning session, the indices swung up on rises to heavily weighted coal, non-ferrous metal, banking and securities stocks. Losses to agricultural, medical equipment, papermaking and brewing stocks forced the indices to surrender their early gains as morning trading drew to a close. Despite a climb back up in the afternoon, only the Shanghai Composite was able to pull off a win for the day.

Major gauges of inflation and industrial output in China during July are scheduled to be released Thursday, and investors will be examining these measures closely for signs of recovery or further slowing in the domestic economy, say analysts. Yet, regardless of where the data points, with investor sentiment in the doldrums thanks to recent market weakness, a short term recovery is unlikely, analysts argue.

Since 2011, more than 11 million stock trading accounts for retail investors have lapsed into inactivity, "indicating a knockout blow for confidence in the market", according to a report from the Wall Street Journal Wednesday, citing a research note by HSBC.

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