Tianjin Tasly Pharmaceutical Co. and Beijing Tongrentang Co. paced gains by Chinese health-care stocks on expectations earnings will withstand a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.
Tianjin Tasly gained 3.4 percent to 40 yuan at the close in Shanghai trading, while Beijing Tongrentang climbed 3.5 percent to 15.09 yuan. A measure tracking health-care stocks on the CSI 300 Index (SHSZ300) rallied 2.7 percent, the biggest advance since Jan. 20 and compared with a 0.4 percent decline by the broader gauge.
“The defensive nature of pharmaceutical stocks stands out in a slowing economy environment,” said Wu Kan, a Shanghai- based fund manager at Dazhong Insurance Co., which oversees $285 million. “Besides stable earnings, prospects that the government will invest more in the health-care industry are also driving up the stock.”
China reported the biggest trade deficit in at least 22 years on March 10, adding to data last week on factory output and retail sales that signaled slowing growth. Premier Wen Jiabao cut the government’s 2012 economic expansion target to 7.5 percent on March 5, down from 8 percent over the past seven years
--Zhang Shidong. Editors: Richard Frost, Matthew Oakley
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