Stocks in mainland China dropped for a third day before a key economic report showing a slowdown in exports while an ongoing energy crisis stoked worries about recovery outlook. Hong Kong's financial markets are shut due to severe weather conditions.
The Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.7 per cent to 2,522.43 in early Wednesday trading. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks the biggest companies on the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses, slipped 0.2 per cent.
Energy producers dropped almost 2 per cent, making it the biggest loser among major industry groups as top officials in Beijing called for more power supply to meet demand. The gauge had risen 22 per cent over the past two months following a global surge in oil and natural gas prices.
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China's import and export growth probably slowed last month, according to the estimates of economists polled by Bloomberg before a government report, clouding recovery outlook. BlackRock, the world's biggest money manager, said China can no longer ignore slowdown signs without easing policies.
Financial markets in Hong Kong are shut for the day after the Observatory retained its Signal 8 typhoon warning up to 4pm local time as Kompasu edges closer to the city. Banks will also close for the day.
Other major markets in Asia were mixed, with the benchmarks in Japan and Taiwan retreating and those in South Korea and Australia rising. US stocks fell overnight as traders waited for the start of the corporate earnings report season.
More from South China Morning Post:
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