China stocks inch down as markets await cues from raft of data

SHANGHAI, July 10 (Reuters) – China’s main stock indexes
were little changed on Monday, as investors awaited fresh
catalysts ahead of a burst of data due over the next week.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.1 percent, to
3,653.69 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index
slipped 0.2 percent to 3,212.63 points.

Small-caps far underperformed, with the start-up board
ChiNext sliding 1.8 percent, after the securities
regulator approved more initial public offerings (IPOs) over the
weekend, raising fears the pace of listings could accelerate.

Eight newly-listed stock tumbled the maximum allowed 10
percent.

Markets shrugged off China’s June inflation data, which met
expectations and did little to alter the view that economic
growth is cooling after a solid first quarter.
June consumer prices rose 1.5 percent from a year earlier.

Capital Economics China economist Julian Evans-Pritchard
said that “with slowing credit growth likely to weigh on
economic activity in coming quarters… inflation will start
falling again before long”.

In comments on Friday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was
sanguine about the outlook even as he acknowledged the economy
still faced many difficulties.

Most economists expect growth to cool in the next few
quarters as the key real estate sector slows, while Beijing’s
crack down on debt risks raises financing costs in a generally
tighter funding environment.

On July 17, China will release second-quarter gross domestic
product(GDP), along with June industrial output, retail sales
and January-June fixed asset investment.

UBS Securities analyst Gao Ting said that after stellar
gains in certain sectors such as consumer, investor views have
started to diverge.

Some investors see “limited upside for quality consumer
stocks as valuations touch five-year highs after substantial YTD
gains, while others remain upbeat on the re-rating potential of
leading players,” he said.
(Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Richard
Borsuk)