Chinese Stocks Retreat After China Cuts Growth Target

MarketWatch Pulse

Hong Kong and Shanghai stocks both retreated Thursday morning, after China cut its growth target for 2015 earlier in the day. The Hang Seng Index dropped 0.5%, looking likely to extend a three-day losings treak. The Hang Seng China Enterprises edged down 0.2%. Over on the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index pulled back 0.7%. The Chinese Premier Li Keqiang lowered China's gross domestic product growth target to around 7% for 2015 from its level of "around 7.5%" for last year, as he presented the government work report at the opening of China's annual parliamentary session on Thursday. In Hong Kong, most major mainland banks and property shares were weaker, with Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. down 0.8%, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. off 0.7%, and China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. lower by 0.4%. Energy names also declined broadly, as China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation lost 1.3%, and PetroChina Co. Ltd. shed 1.1%. Hong Kong retailers dropped further, with jewelry brand Luk Fook Holdings International Ltd. leading the losses with a 3.7% slide.

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