Shares slump as data shows cooling economy

By Global Times – Reuters Source:Global Times - Reuters Published: 2018/12/16 17:38:39

Chinese shares slumped on Friday after climbing up for three straight sessions, with investor worries about the state of the domestic economy rising on fresh data that showed weakening consumer sentiment.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 1.5 percent at 2,593.74. The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 1.7 percent, with its financial sector sub-index lower by 1.69 percent, the consumer staples sector down 1.39 percent, the real estate index down 2.02 percent and the healthcare sub-index lower by 2.75 percent.

The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 2.46 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 2.821 percent.

The largest percentage gainers on the main Shanghai Composite index were Zhejiang Tuna Environmental Science and Technology Co, up 10.03 percent, followed by Poten Environment Group Co, gaining 10.02 percent, and Fujian Raynen Technology Co, up by 10.02 percent.

China's November retail sales grew at 8.1 percent, which was lower than expected and also recorded the weakest pace since 2003. The country's industrial output also eased sharply from 5.9 percent to 5.4 percent, the lowest in nearly three years as domestic demand softened, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Analysts said the slowdown shows that China's economy is facing downward pressure due to more external uncertainties. But China is still on track to hit its 2018 GDP growth target of around 6.5 percent, a spokesman of China's statistics bureau said.

The Chinese stock market has ended higher for three straight sessions, gaining more than 45 points, or 1.8 percent, along the way as of Thursday last week.

China is expected to hold the Central Economic Work Conference this week, which analysts forecast will see more measures to drive up domestic economic growth next year and stimulate the market.


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