China Stocks Fall after Soft Data; Hong Kong Down

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SHANGHAI, April 30 (Reuters) – China stocks slipped on Friday, after the country’s factory activity growth slowed in April, with Shanghai shares set for weekly decline on worries over policy tightening and Sino-U.S. tensions.

** The CSI300 index fell 0.3% to 5,150.71 by the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5% to 3,457.09.

** For the week, CSI300 firmed 0.3%, while SSEC eased 0.5%.

** China’s factory activity expanded at a slower pace and missed forecasts in April as supply bottlenecks and rising costs weighed on production and overseas demand lost momentum.

** Despite the soft data, analysts and traders said overall solid economic growth allowed Beijing more leeway to rein in bubbles in its financial markets.

** China’s economic recovery quickened sharply in the first quarter with record growth of 18.3%, shaking off the hit from last year’s slump.

** “People are still worried about China’s monetary policy, and the market remains pessimistic given the current monetary conditions,” said Song Zhenyu, a fund manager at Beijing Jiayi Asset Management Company.

** Song said any gradual policy shift would happen with a tightening bias as the central bank had recently noted the rapid rise in commodities prices, raising worries over inflation.

** Tensions between Beijing and Washington also added to the pressure on the market.

** U.S. President Joe Biden took aim at China in his first speech to Congress, pledging to maintain a strong U.S. military presence in the Indo-Pacific and promising to boost technological development and trade.

** In Hong Kong, tech stocks led the slide on Friday, as Beijing widened its crackdown on fintech firms.

** Chinese financial watchdogs on Thursday summoned 13 internet platforms engaged in finance business, including heavyweights Tencent and ByteDance, to order them to strengthen compliance with regulations, the central bank said.

** The Hang Seng index dropped 1.5% to 28,856.26,while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 1.6% to 10,870.34.

(Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Josh Horwitz; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

Source: Reuters


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