China stocks slip on dim mid-year profit forecasts; Hong Kong inches up

* SSEC -0.2 pct, CSI300 -0.1 pct, HSI +0.1 pct

* Fitch affirms China’s A+ rating with stable outlook

* Growth stocks slump on dim H1 forecasts

SHANGHAI, July 14 (Reuters) – China stocks slipped on Friday
morning, led down by small-caps as lacklustre first-half
earnings forecasts deepened worries over their growth prospects.

The CSI300 index fell 0.1 percent, to 3,683.99
points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai
Composite Index lost 0.2 percent, to 3,212.46 points.

The start-up board index ChiNext slid 1.2
percent to a five-week low, as many stocks that have seen fast
growth have forecast sharp drops in mid-year earnings.

The index is poised to have its worst week since
mid-December.

“We do not see any reason why investors shall plow money in
growth stocks for now, given expectations of dim results at
these firms amid tight liquidity conditions,” said Yan Kaiwen,
an analyst with China Fortune Securities.

Yan said that a crisis at tech company Leshi Internet
Information, a listed unit of the struggling Chinese
conglomerate LeEco, could exacerbate fears over start-ups.

The market value of Leshi Internet Information could fall
around $2.5 billion should its shares resume trading, showed
estimates from three mutual fund investors.

There was scant market reaction to news that Fitch
maintained its A+ rating on China with a stable outlook, citing
the strength of the country’s external finances and
macroeconomic record.

In a Reuters poll of 65 economists, China’s economic growth
is expected to reach 6.6 percent this year, topping the
government’s target of around 6.5 percent.

The defensive consumer and healthcare sectors
led declines in the morning.

Shares in Wangsu Science & Technology and
Guangdong Wens Foodstuff both slumped more than 6
percent, after forecasting sharp declines in earnings for the
first half.

Hong Kong stocks edged higher, aided by gains in other Asian
markets, which rose for the fifth straight session, as signs the
Federal Reserve will pursue a gradual rate tightening path and
hopes of a strong earnings season continued to lift appetites
for risk assets.

The Hang Seng index added 0.1 percent, to 26,364.21
points.

The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.2
percent, to 10,694.46.

(Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by
Richard Borsuk)

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