August 10, 2010 (Chinavestor) The Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001) managed to eke out gains on Wednesday but investors in Hong Kong turned defencive after data suggested the global economic recovery is loosing pace. China's widening trade gap, slower economic growth in Asia and in the U.S. combined with high unemployment suggests the recovery is going to be gradual and slower than expected. The Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI) fell 179.1 points or 0.8 percent on top of the 328 point loss the day before.
Chinese airliners fell the hardest among the Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI) components. China Southern Airlines (HKG:1055) tumbled 4.1 percent followed by Air China (HKG:0753) and China Eastern Airlines (HKG:0670). China Shenhua (HKG:1088), the largest Chinese coal miner, fell 3.0 percent in Hong Kong and was the worst performing China stock of the SSE-50 Index, measuring the performance of the 50 largest Shanghai listed public companies. But insurers weathered the storm well; shares of Ping An Insurance (HKG:2318) was among the best five performing Hang Seng Index components while China Pacific Insurance (SHA:601601) rose 1.5 percent in Shanghai. Shares of China Life Insurance (HKG:2628) (SHA:601628) (NYSE:LFC), the largest Chinese life insurer, fell 0.6 percent in Hong Kong but advanced 0.2 percent in Shanghai.
Tencent Holdings (HKG:0700), the largest Chinese internet portal, reported earnings after the close in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Revenue and net income beat analysts forecast as its popular instant messaging service continued to dominate the marketplace, while its advertising revenue soared. This might help Sina Corp. (NASDAQ:SINA) and Sohu.com (NASDAQ:SOHU) to outperform the broad market on Wednesday.
China Life Insurance (NYSE:LFC) is expected to find direction from Hong Kong, e.g. heading south. Chinese coal miners and energy stocks will be under pressure as energy prices slumped.