China’s stocks decline on bird flu, Bloomberg says

China’s stocks decline on bird flu, Bloomberg says

YEREVAN, April 8. /ARKA/. China’s stocks fell after a two-day holiday amid concern a bird flu outbreak and property market curbs will hurt the nation’s economic recovery. 

A gauge of property shares in Shanghai slid the most in two weeks and China Vanke Co. slumped 1.9 percent after Beijing increased the minimum downpayment on purchases of second homes. Air China Ltd. and China Southern Airlines Co. dropped at least 1.7 percent on speculation flu deaths may deter people from traveling. Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical Co., whose drugs are included in a government recommended list to combat the virus, jumped 10 percent, leading gains for health-care stocks. 

The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) slid as much as 2 percent before paring losses to 0.8 percent to 2,206.61 at 1:09 p.m., heading for the lowest close since Dec. 27. The CSI 300 Index fell 0.6 percent to 2,469.28. The Hang Seng China Enterprise Index added 0.6 percent after plunging 3.1 percent on April 5. Mainland markets were shut April 4 and 5 for the Tomb-sweeping day holiday. 

“There are worries about the bird flu that haven’t been reflected in the markets because we were closed for the holidays,” said Mao Sheng, an analyst for Huaxi Securities Co. in Chengdu. “There’s no real big driver to push stocks much higher in the near term.” 

The Shanghai index has slumped 9.3 percent from a Feb. 6 high amid concern steps to cool property prices will drag on economic growth and as company earnings trailed estimates. Valuations on the gauge have sank to 9 times projected 12-month earnings, the lowest level since Dec. 13 and less than the seven-year average of 15.8, data compiled by Bloomberg show. 

The outbreak of the virus caused soybean futures and Chinese stocks to fall on April 5 amid concerns the disease will hurt demand in the world’s second-largest economy. The three new reported infections raised the total of cases to 21. 

The uncertainty of the flu may drag on the market, Citigroup Inc. analysts Minggao Shen and Ben Wei wrote in a report today. The impact from the virus may hurt airlines, insurance, consumer staples and retail stocks while boosting health-care and auto shares, according to the report. -0-

12:18 08.04.2013

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