By Chao Deng
Chinese shares ended slightly up Tuesday, as smaller technology stocks lifted the broader market by the close despite a decline in property stocks.
The Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.31% finished up 0.1% at 2,901.39, marking the sixth consecutive session of gains for the benchmark. It was the longest such stretch since last July.
But the market lost as much as 3.3% in the morning. Investors were in particular selling Chinese property shares amid warnings about a housing bubble in top property markets by analysts.
Chongqing Mayor Huang Qifan said that China could be headed for a financial disaster if local governments are allowed to keep encouraging home buying with measures such as reducing down-payment requirements. His comments came during China’s legislative meetings taking place in Beijing, according to China Economic Times.
A gauge of property stocks on the mainland by Citic Securities closed down 1.5%. Shares of Poly Real Estate Group Co. Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201864015/delayed CN:600048 -1.98% and Gree Real Estate Co. Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208659719/delayed CN:600185 +0.46% , two of China’s largest property developers, were down 1.2% and 1.5% respectively.
On the upside, investors bought into sectors like media and computer technology, both of which gained about 2% by the close. The ChiNext /zigman2/quotes/210597993/delayed XX:SZX00067 +1.78% , a gauge of Chinese startup stocks, recovered to trade up 2.5%.
According to Jufeng Investment, the sharp volatility witnessed during the trading day reflects deep divisions among investors about the outlook of the market. The thin trading volume also makes it hard for the market to form a sustainable trend at the moment, it added.
Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.39% was off 0.8%, Australia’s S&P/ ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.33% slipped 0.7%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -1.09% lost 0.6%.
Investors in Asia were in part reacting to China’s latest trade data, which showed China’s exports registering their biggest drop in more than five years.
Exports slid 25.4%, following a drop of 11.2% on year in January. The February figure for exports was below a median forecast for a slide of 15% and reinforced a gloomy outlook for the world’s second-largest economy.
In Australia, shares broke their longest run-up of the year, as investors took back some of the recent recovery in bank and resources stocks. BHP Billiton Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP -0.78% , for example, fell for the first day in the last six sessions, losing 1.8%.