November 3, 2011 (Chinavestor) Chinese stocks were mixed in Asia on Thursday. Investors got spooked by Europe's uncertain outlook in Hong Kong, sending the Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI) 491.2 points or 2.6% lower for the day. But the Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001) advanced on hopes that monetary loosening is coming. Index heavy weight Petrochina Co. Ltd. (HKG:0857) fell 3.8% followed closely by CNOOC Ltd. (HKG:0338), China's offshore oil producer. China Shenhua Energy (HKG:1088), the largest coal miner in the world, fell 3.3% weighting down the index. But China Life Insurance (HKG:2628) defied general trend and advanced 3.9%, the most among 42 components of the Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI).
The purchasing managers' index fell to 57.7 in October from 59.3 a month before, indicating a cool-off in the real estate sector. Inflationary pressured eased as well, lifting hopes that the market is at the end of current fiscal and monetary tightening cycle. Given that Chinese insurers derive over 15% of their net profit from investment related activities, any loosening policy is a holy grail for insurers. No wonder, China Life Insurance (SHA:601628) advanced the most among the 50 largest components of the Shanghai Composite index (SHA:000001) as well.
Most components of Chinese ETFs fell in Asia on Thursday. Stocks that fell outnumbered those that advanced five to one in Asia among components of the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 index (NYSE:FXI). This bodes ill for the most liquid Chinese ETF ahead the opening bell. A similar broad sell-off hit small cap stocks as components of the Guggenheim China Small Cap ETF (NYSE:HAO) testify.