Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Chinese stocks dive

Chinese divers and other sportsmen may be seeing gold at the Olympics but Chinese investors are mostly seeing red in the stock market as stocks performed their own form of diving. From Bloomberg yesterday:

China's benchmark stock index plunged to an 18-month low, overtaking Vietnam as the world's worst performer this year, as producer prices rose and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the Olympic Games will slow the economy...

The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated A shares listed on China's two exchanges, tumbled 134.65, or 5.2 percent, to 2,456.81 at the close, the lowest since Feb. 9, 2007. The drop was the biggest since June 27. About one-third of the companies on the 300-member gauge slumped by the 10 percent daily limit.

The measure has lost 54 percent this year, the worst performer among the world's 88 major benchmark indexes, on concern rising fuel prices and central bank measures to curb inflation will hurt earnings.

Chinese economic data released yesterday were mixed. Bloomberg reports:

China's trade surplus unexpectedly widened in July and producer prices rose at the fastest pace in 12 years, adding pressure on the government to let the yuan resume its appreciation.

The surplus climbed 4 percent to $25.3 billion from a year earlier, the first gain in four months, customs bureau figures showed. Factory-gate prices increased 10 percent, the statistics bureau said earlier today...

The trade surplus and the 26.9 percent increase in exports to $136.7 billion topped the estimates of all 16 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Overseas shipments grew a revised 17.2 percent in June. Imports increased 33.7 percent in July to $111.4 billion, up from 31 percent.

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