Mainland stocks calm ahead of long holidays
Chinese mainland stocks were little changed on Thursday as many investors took to the sidelines as they awaited third quarter economic data and counted down to a week-long National Day holidays starting on Sunday.
Traders were cautious amid emerging signs of fading economic momentum after a robust first half, though most analysts expect the economy will remain resilient in the short run thanks to a construction boom.
The blue-chip CSI300 index was almost unchanged, closing up 0.04 percent at 3,822.54 points, while the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.17 percent at 3,339.64 points.
Mixed August data have raised concerns that China’s economic recovery could be losing steam, so changes in trading strategies could be on the cards once investors have assessed third-quarter data over coming weeks.
“If the third-quarter data confirm market fears of a slowdown, investors may sell,” said Yang Hai, strategist at Kaiyuan Securities.
“However, markets could be dull before and during the Party Congress, as the government has vowed to maintain stability during the period,” he said, referring to the key Party meeting that starts in mid-October. Sector performance was mixed. Energy, property and financial shares weakened but consumer shares continued to rise sharply, on bets that the long holiday will stimulate entertainment activities and shopping.
Those wagers were played out in stocks such as Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd, a maker of Chinese spirits, which rose 2.02 percent to a record high of 518.46 yuan ($77.73) per share.