Bloomberg News

China's Stocks Fall, Led by China Petroleum; Brokerages Slump

November 21, 2007

China's stocks fell, sending the CSI 300 Index (SHSZ300) to its eighth decline in 10 sessions. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (386), Asia's largest refiner, dropped the most in a week on concern it will not be able to pass on added costs after the price of crude oil topped $99 a barrel.

China Shenhua Energy Co. (601088) led coal producers higher on speculation demand for the fuel will increase, boosting prices, as oil becomes more expensive.

``China's refiners will be hurt as there are price controls and a lot of their oil is imported,'' said Ivan Tham, who helps manage about $5 billion in assets at City of London Investment in Singapore, including China's yuan-denominated A shares. ``Coal producers, on the other hand, will benefit as they're an alternative energy source to oil.''

Citic Securities Co. paced a retreat by brokerages on concern the stock market decline in the past month will erode trading income.

The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated A shares listed on China's two exchanges, fell 71.76, or 1.4 percent, to 4,997.62 at the close in Shanghai, adding to an 11 percent slump in the past month. About four stocks fell for each that advanced on the index today, with all 10 industry groups registering declines.

China Petroleum (600028) slid 0.44 yuan, or 1.9 percent, to 22.68, the biggest fall since Nov. 12. Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co., China's largest maker of ethylene, fell 0.60 yuan, or 3.6 percent, to 15.98. Sinopec Yizheng Chemical Fibre Co., the country's largest chemical-fiber maker, retreated 0.40 yuan, or 3.8 percent, to 10.09.

Record Oil Price

Crude oil jumped 3.6 percent yesterday to $98.03 a barrel in New York, the highest close since trading began in 1983. Futures topped $99 a barrel in after-hours trading and were recently at $98.61. Chinese oil refiners cannot pass on rising costs of crude to customers without government approval.

China Shenhua Energy Co., the nation's biggest coal producer, added 0.40 yuan, or 0.6 percent, to 67.49. Shanxi Xishan Coal and Electricity Power Co., the second-largest, gained 2.15 yuan, or 4 percent, to 55.50. Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal Co. (900948), the No. 3 miner, climbed 0.085, or 1 percent, to 8.589.

Credit Suisse Group increased its estimate for Asian contract prices of thermal coal by $10 a ton to $80 for next year, while Macquarie Group Ltd. analysts said there was a likelihood contract prices will ``rise strongly'' next year.

``Coal producers will benefit from the rising prices as well as increased production,'' said Chris Ruffle, who helps oversee about $3 billion at Martin Currie Investment Management in Shanghai.

Citic Securities, the nation's largest brokerage, dropped 2.72, or 2.8 percent, to 93.20. Haitong Securities Co., the second-largest, slid 0.13 yuan, or 0.2 percent, to 58.21. Hong Yuan Securities Co., the No. 3 brokerage, declined 0.78 yuan, or 1.9 percent, to 40.10.

The number of new A share trading accounts fell 12 percent for the week ended Nov. 16, according to China Securities Depository and Clearing Corp. An average of 7.3 billion shares were traded each day on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges this month, compared to the 18.3 billion daily average this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chua Kong Ho at in Shanghai or

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