September 19, 2011 (Chinavestor) News that property prices rose in all 70 major cities in China sent stocks lower in Asia on Monday. The Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI) fell 537.4 points or 2.8%. Had it not been for China Mobile (HKG:0941) and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (HKG:0386), two index heavy weight companies that remained basically flat, the index would have dived a whole lot more. Chinese stocks led the decline for the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (INDEXHANGSENG:HSCEI), measuring the performance of Hong Kong listed Chinese shares, fell 3.73%. China Coal Energy (HKG:1898), the second largest Chinese coal miner, tumbled 16.82% following a fatal accident. This bodes ill for the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (NYSE:FXI), the most liquid Chinese ETF.
Similarly to Hong Kong, investors on the Mainland went defensive and sank the Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001) 44.5 points or 1.8%. The decline was universal, all but three among the 50 largest components of the index fell on Monday. China Life Insurance (SHA:601628) fell both in Shanghai and Hong Kong on market outlook.
Investors remembered Wen Jiabao's remarks from September 1 when China's premier hinted of more monetary tightening should inflation remain high. Now that property prices elevated in all 70 largest Chinese cities, investors prepare for tightening measures that will slow growth.
Large cap stocks led the decline in Asia. All but one component of the Xinhua China 25 Index fell, while China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (HKG:0386) remained just flat. The decline was less universal among smaller caps as components of the Guggenheim China Small Cap ETF (NYSE:HAO) testify. Stocks that fell outnumbered those that advanced ten to one, a somewhat better proportion that that of large caps.