China Market May Trade in Tight Range Amid Uncertainty

Lack of clarity on future policy may keep the Chinese market trading in a narrow range on Thursday.

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The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.37 percent higher at 2169.1 on Wednesday after a choppy trading session.

Market Factors:

Property stocks were among worst performers on Wednesday after June housing prices data showed the number of cities with sequential price increases surged to 25 from just 6 in May. After releasing the data, the Bureau of Statistics reaffirmed Beijing's tough stance against property speculation, which triggered the selloff.

Investors intent on holding onto property sector shares had to be prepared for volatile movements from day to day due to the uncertainty over future policy, warned Lee Wee-Liat, BNP Paribas' head of Asia property research.

"The upcoming earnings for the Chinese property sector will be bad, but investors will probably gloss over that," Lee said. "Policy will still be key and they will be watching the guidance the companies provide, especially on their margins since there have been a lot of price cuts."

Stocks to Watch:

Fuyao Glass - China's top auto glass manufacturer released preliminary first half earnings of 739 million yuan ($116 million), down 7.69 percent from a year ago. The fall in profit is due to higher wage costs and lower selling prices.

China Shipping Development - China's largest carrier of crude oil expects to book a first half loss as demand for shipping was sluggish in the period and that pushed freight costs lower.

Coming Up This Week:

THURSDAY: Japanese All Industries Activity Index, Hong Kong Unemployment Rate, New Zealand Import Price Index, New Zealand Credit Card Spending
FRIDAY: Indian Foreign-Exchange Reserves

—By Cheng Lei, Special to; Reuters contributed to this report