China Stocks Weighed Down by Weak Trade Data

Shanghai stocks posted their biggest loss in 10 days, as disappointing China trade data and slumping oil prices unnerved investors already cautious ahead of an anticipated U.S. rate hike that could trigger more capital outflows.

The Chinese market is also under pressure from a coming wave of 10 initial public offerings that analysts estimate will freeze roughly 3 trillion yuan ($467.45 billion) during subscriptions.

The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 1.8 percent, to 3,623.02, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.9 percent, to 3,470.07 points.

"A series of events are damping investors' risk appetites," hedge fund house Liuhe Capital said in an email.

These include a possible U.S. rate hike, IPO resumption and liquidity strain toward year-end, it said.

Data showed on Tuesday that China's exports fell by a more-than-expected 6.8 percent in November from a year earlier, a fifth straight month of decline.

During the same month, foreign exchange reserves fell to their lowest in nearly three years, with analysts blaming ``record" capital outflows on expectations that the yuan will depreciate.

All major sectors fell, with energy stocks among the worst casualties, after oil prices hit seven-year lows.

But bucking the trend, China's biggest carriers, including Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines were firm, as investors bet lower oil prices will alleviate their cost burdens.

(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Richard Borsuk)