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Inflation worries, Japanese disaster hurt China stocks in April

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decline_9 April 11, 2011 (Chinavestor) China stocks fell in Asia on Monday as renewed fears that Japan's recovery efforts will hurt economic growth resurfaced. Additionally, Chinese export-import numbers for March jumped unexpectedly. This implies that inflation is going to mount over growth concerns, laying a foundation for more interest rate hikes and bank reserve ratio increases in the months ahead. None of these boded well for equity markets and sent the Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001) 7.5 points or 0.2% lower for the day. The Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI) shed 93.0 points or 0.4% at the same time.

 

SAIC Motor (SHA:600104), the largest auto maker in China, fell 0.9% as March auto sales were softer than expected. Passenger car sales grew 6.5% in March, a far cry from 63% same time last year, as the government reintroduced the 10% sales tax and expired incentives for rural customers. But energy stocks advanced as troubles in the Middle East continued to lift oil prices.

Trading in Hong Kong was similar to Shanghai, the number of stocks that fell were about the same than those that advanced out of the 42 components of the Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI). Tsingtao Brewery Co. (HKG:0168), the largest Chinese beer maker, was the best performing component of the Hang Seng index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI). Energy stocks advanced in Hong Kong as well on the back of record oil prices. Petrochina Co. Ltd. (HKG:0857) and Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical (HKG:0338) advanced  2.8% and 3.9%, each.

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Chinese ETFs were looking for direction last Friday and may not have found it yet, if trading in Asia was any indication. Stocks that fell were about the same than those that advanced out of the 25 components of the iShares FTSE/Xinhua 25 China Index (NYSE:FXI). Energy stocks advanced but manufacturing and financial stocks fell in Hong Kong on Monday. But most small caps advanced - albeit were not be able to move indices heavy on large cap stocks.

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Index futures point to a lower open for U.S. markets, hurting outlook for Chinese ADRs as well. If components of the Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI) can serve as proxy for ADR trading, outlook is best for energy stocks but financial and transportation stocks are going to fell a pinch on Monday.



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