China stocks fell on Tuesday morning, with investors kept cautious by worries over regulatory tightening and weaker-than-expected economic indicators. The CSI300 index fell 0.4 percent, to 3,427.21 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent, to 3,147.01 points.
Growth in China’s manufacturing sector slowed faster than expected in April, an official survey showed on Sunday, as producer price inflation cooled and policymakers’ efforts to reduce financial risks in the economy weighed on demand.
A private survey echoed Sunday’s official data on Tuesday, finding China’s factory sector lost momentum in April, with growth slowing to its weakest pace in seven months as domestic and export demand faltered.
This news could curb sentiment, as economic growth has been a major concern for investors, said Xiao Shijun, an analyst at Guodu Securities. The official Xinhua news agency on Monday cited Xu Zhong, head of the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) research bureau, as saying the country needed to deleverage at a “proper pace” to reduce financial sector debt and avoid systemic financial risk.
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Tightening financial regulations could continue to weigh on market risk appetite in the medium to long term, Gao Ting, head of China strategy at UBS Securities, wrote in a research note. Sector performance was mixed.
Some blue-chips tumbled, including Hisense Electric , after reporting first-quarter results, in particular consumer plays, indicating investors might be inclined to take profits in the sector after a strong rally this year.
Hong Kong stock followed Asian shares higher, as growing optimism for strong tech industry earnings and receding concerns over North Korea offset softer-than-expected factory readings in China and the United States.
The Hang Seng index added 0.3 percent, to 24,680.47 points, the highest level in 21 months, led by index heavyweight Tencent, which advanced 1.6 percent to a record high. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.1 percent, to 10,229.22 points.