BEIJING (AP) — Chinese stocks sank Tuesday after April economic activity weakened and other major Asian markets were little-changed following Wall Street’s spurt on higher oil prices.
KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7 percent to 3,068.24 points and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.5 percent to 25,238.96. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.2 percent to 19,904.17 and Seoul’s Kospi added 0.1 percent to 2,293.70. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 was unchanged at 5,839.90. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Taiwan and Singapore declined, while Malaysia and the Philippines gained.
WEAKENING CHINA: Government data showed growth in industrial activity, credit, investment and housing sector activity decelerated in April. That added to indications growth in the world’s second-largest economy peaked in the first quarter and is declining. Chinese leaders are tightening access to credit to reduce reliance on debt and investment but April’s downturn was sharper than forecast.
ANALYST’S COMMENT: China’s April data are in line with expectations of a “steady downward glide in growth rates in the remainder of 2017,” Brian Jackson of IHS Markit said ‘in a report. Beijing is likely to try to stimulate growth to hit its 6.5 percent growth target in a year when the ruling Communist Party is due to hold a sensitive reshuffling of its leadership, Jackson said. Still, he said, “despite China’s increasing stimulative efforts, domestic growth momentum will remain downward in the second quarter and beyond.”
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