(Aug. 28, 2009 - Chinavestor) China stocks continued to retreat in Shanghai and Hong Kong on Friday. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 85.71 points or 2.9% to 2,860 at the close. This marks the fourth straight week of losses and a correction of 18% from its peak earlier the month. Negative comments about economic growth and curbing of liquidity in the financial system contributed to the correction of the index, once the best performer of the world in 2009. Weak earnings from metal players have rattled investors after Aluminum Corp. of China (NYSE:ACH), Jiangxi Copper, and Bao Steel all reported below analysts' estimates.
Trading in Hong Kong was less dramatic, the Hang Seng Index shed 144.13 points or 0.71% to 20,098.62 at the close. Shanghai Petrochemical (HKG:0338) fell 8.0% following 2009 H1 earnings. While the company swung back to profit, outlook looks uncertain on high crude prices. Stocks that fell outnumbered those that advanced 3:1. China Telecom (NYSE:CHA) H-shares (HKG:0726) advanced 3.6% after China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) reported poor 2009 H1 results. China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) continued to fall.
Index futures point to a higher open for the DJIA, setting a positive tone for Chinese stocks in the U.S. Expect momentum stocks do well on Friday, but Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical (NYSE:SHI) is looking vulnerable after a large correction in Hong Kong. Chinese stocks are looking for direction with a strong U.S. market sentiment but weak Chinese economic news. Shanda Interactive (SNDA) has been gaining momentum before earnings announcement on September 3, and expect this trend to continue on Friday.