RIYADH: China stocks fell on growth concerns on Monday after factory and retail activity slowed in July even as the central bank unexpectedly cut key rates to support the COVID-19-hit economy.
The CSI300 index and the Shanghai Composite Index both slipped 0.1 percent at the end of the morning session.
China says economic recovery momentum slows, faces difficulties
China’s economic recovery momentum slowed in July, but the economy remains resilient despite facing difficulties, Fu Linghui, a spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics, said at a news conference on Monday.
Fu expects the economy to continue to recover and the employment situation to be generally stable, although employment pressure still exists.
Even if consumer prices see sharp rises in some months, he expects consumer inflation to remain at a reasonable level this year.
The comments came after data showed China’s economy unexpectedly slowed in July, with activity indicators from industrial output to retail sales missing forecasts by large margins, pointing to a shaky recovery as Beijing shows no sign of easing its zero-COVID policy.
China to lift Aug fuel exports
China’s fuel product exports will rebound in August to near the highest for the year so far after Beijing issued more quotas in June and July, although broader curbs are set to cap shipments at seven-year lows for 2022, analysts and traders said.
The rebound in fuel exports from China, the world’s second-biggest producer of refined fuels, has helped cool global prices that hit record highs in May and June as western sanctions on Russia following the Ukraine war tightened global markets.
Diesel, gasoline and jet fuel exports for the year are expected to be as much as 40 percent lower from 2021.
China’s July refinery runs fell to their lowest in more than two years, data showed on Monday, with year-to-date volumes down 6.3 percent from a year earlier.
China's July crude steel output down 6.4 percent
China’s crude steel output fell 6.4 percent in July compared with a year earlier as an ailing property sector dampened demand.
The world’s top steelmaker churned out 81.43 million tons of metal last month, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday.
That was also down from 90.73 million tons in June.
(With input from Reuters)