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Economic Uncertainty to Weigh on China Stocks

China stocks may trade lower on Thursday, weighed down by uncertainties about the global economy and China's own fiscal policy response.

Shanghai stock exchange
Xu Changzheng | ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images
Shanghai stock exchange

The Shanghai Composite fell 0.42 percent to end at 2363.44 on Wednesday.

Market Factors:

The Chinese cabinet met on Wednesday to discuss the economy and issued a more urgent and aggressively toned statement. The "difficulties and complexities of the global economy recovery" and the "downward pressures on the domestic economy" were noted. Pro-growth measures were outlined, with cutting business taxes as a priority. The government also pledged to accelerate already confirmed projects in railway, energy-saving, rural and western regions infrastructure, education, health care, and information technology.

On Wednesday, the World Bank cut its 2012 economic growth forecast for China to 8.2 percent and urged its leaders to rely on easier fiscal policy that boosts consumption rather than state investment to stimulate the economy.

Stocks to Watch:

Broker Stocks, Citic Securities - China plans bold reforms for the brokerage industry, such as allowing them to conduct businesses such as trading futures and derivatives, asset management, private banking and private equity.

Securities regulators detail how Yang Zhishan, formerly Citic Securities Research quality chief and award-winning utilities analyst, used his position as independent director of Zhangze Power to conduct insider trading. Yang is now in police detention. The regulators have also named an ex Bocom-Schroder fund manager Zheng Tuo for engaging in "rat trading."

Shanghai Pharmaceuticals - The drugmaker issued a denial that it was being investigated by securities regulators for accounting fraud. The Class A shares and H shares of the company had plunged in Wednesday trading due to a report in the 21st Century Business Herald citing a current executive that the company was the subject of such a probe.

Petrochina - The energy giant's chairman, Jiang Jiemin, said Wednesday China will adopt a transitional pricing scheme for gas. (PetroChina stands to benefit the most from gas price reforms due to its high production.) He also said China will announce rules to allow private investments into energy in the coming month.

—By Cheng Lei, CNBC Asia Pacific