China Traders Brace for Friday’s Economic Data

Trading in China is likely to be subdued on Thursday, ahead of the release of key economic data on Friday.

Stuart Dee | Photographer's Choice RF | Getty Images

The Shanghai Composite Indexclosed higher for the first time in three days on Wednesday to end 0.51 percent higher at 2175.38. Infrastructure-related stocks were the top performers after Premier Wen Jiabao spoke about accelerating infrastructure projects to lift investor confidence.

Market Factors:

The Chinese cabinet is formulating reforms to the country's distribution industry, which includes retail and logistics. The cost of logistics in China, double that of developed countries, is often blamed for the relative high prices of consumer goods in China.

The cabinet has also approved the 12th five-year plan for energy conservation and emissions reduction. The plan targets a 16 percent reduction for per unit energy consumption versus 2010. Analysts expect increased demand for recycling, water treatment, and pollution-reduction technologies.

Meanwhile, data showed China's auto sales grew 2.93 percent in the first half to 9.59 million vehicles. Passenger car sales rose 7 percent, but commercial vehicle sales fell 10.4 percent. Chinese-branded cars lost market share amid stiff competition.

Stocks to Watch:

Dongfeng Motor, Faw Car - Dongfeng, China's number two automaker, expects a 60 percent to 70 percent drop in first-half net profit. Faw Car, part of China's third largest automaker Faw Group, expects to report a first half loss of 45 million to 75 million yuan ($7 million to $12 million).

Shanghai Power - The power producer says first-half earnings likely grew more than 50 percent due to cheaper coal, higher tariffs, and more investment income.

Coming Up This Week:

THURSDAY: Indian Manufacturing Output, Indian Industrial Production, Bank of Japan Press Conference, Chinese Retail Sales, Chinese Industrial Production, Chinese GDP, Chinese Fixed Asset Investment
FRIDAY: Japanese Industrial Production, Singaporean Retail Sales, Bank of Japan Monthly Report

—By Cheng Lei, CNBC Asia Pacific