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China stocks fall in Asia, Dec. 23

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decline_7 December 23, 2010 (Chinavestor) Chinese stocks fell in Asia on Thursday as the government increased lending costs for small businesses. The Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001) fell 22.7 points or 0.8% while the Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGANGSENG:.HSI) shed 142.2 points or 0.6%. Chinese ADRs on the move in Asia included China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) and China Southern Airlines (NYSE:ZNH) to the downside but Guangshen Rail (NYSE:GSH) and Petrochina Co. Ltd. (NYSEPTR) advanced in Hong Kong. Aluminum Corp. of China (NYSE:ACH) was among the best performing components of the Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001) on Thursday.

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Investors in Hong Kong kept an eye on the U.S. where the DJIA hit a fresh two year high on Wednesday. Profit taking dominated most of the late session in the city, punishing China Unicom (HKG:0762) the most. China's second largest mobile carrier advanced 10% earlier the month, making it vulnerable to profit taking. Airliners continued to swing widely; China Southern Airlines (HKG:1055) became the worst component of the Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI) for the day while smaller rival China Eastern Airlines (HKG:0670) fell 1.03%. Air China (HKG:0752), China's flagship carrier, shed 0.46% thanks to its large exposure to international routes. But domestic giant China Southern Airlines (HKG:1055) remains under pressure from a new competition, high speed trains. Guangshen Rail (HKG:0525), the largest railway company in the Pearl River delta region, advanced 1.0%.

The landscape was similar in Shanghai; stocks that fell outnumbered those that advanced six to one among components of the Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001). Every sector felt the pain except for financials. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (SHA:601398), the largest financial insdtitution in the world, traded sideways while Bank of Communications (SHA:601328), China's fourth largest lender, advanced 0.9%. Smaller rival Industrial Bank (SHA:601166) and Huaxia Bank (SHA:600015) rose 1.7% and 2.0%, respectively, making them the best large cap components of the Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001).

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Most large cap components of Chinese ETFs fell in Asia on Thursday. Outlook is weak for the iShares FTSE/Xinhua 25 China Index (NYSE:FXI) as a result.

If components of the Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI) can serve as proxy for ADR trading, outlook is best for Guangshen Rail (NYSE:GSH) and Petrochina Co. Ltd. (NYSE:PTR). But China Southern Airlines (NYSE:ZNH), China's largest airline by fleet size, is expected to gap down just like China Unicom (NYSE:CHU).



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