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China: Stocks retreat after new IPOs; HK slumps nearly 4% on oil woes

[SHANGHAI] China stocks fell over 1 per cent on Wednesday morning, giving up some of the previous session's 3 per cent gain, after the country's securities regulator approved a new batch of initial public offerings (IPO).

Hong Kong shares slumped nearly 4 per cent, knocked down by energy shares, which tumbled on renewed declines in oil prices amid supply glut fears.

The CSI300 index fell 1.6 per cent to 3,170.33 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.4 percent to 2,966.66 points.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 3.8 per cent, to 18,894.88 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 4.9 per cent, to 7,968.30.

The latest declines come amid a backdrop of nervous markets as collapse in oil prices, fears of a China-led global economic downturn and perceived policy missteps by Beijing sap confidence.

Chinese investors took advantage of Tuesday's sharp rebound to reduce holdings, even as the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said that the new batch of seven IPOs would have limited impact on the market as pre-paid subscription capital is not required under new listing rules.

The markets fell despite central bank's pledge on Tuesday to inject more than 600 billion yuan (US$91.22 billion) to help ease a liquidity squeeze expected before the Lunar New Year in early February.

Most main sectors fell, with energy and property stocks leading the declines.

Oil companies are also among the biggest decliners in Hong Kong, with an index tracking energy stocks there slumping more than 6 per cent.

REUTERS