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SHANGHAI: China’s blue-chip shares closed down at a nearly five-year low on Thursday, and Hong Kong stocks also fell as Moody’s cutting its credit outlook for both regions added to investor concerns about China’s weak recovery.

The blue-chip CSI 300 Index lost 0.2% to end at its lowest level since February 2019, and the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.1%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.7%, and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index declined 0.9%.

Asian shares slipped with Wall Street, while oil prices touching a five-month low promised to further reduce inflationary pressures and helped boost the global bond market.

Moody’s put Hong Kong, Macau and swathes of China’s state-owned firms and banks on downgrade warnings on Wednesday, following an identical move the previous day on the mainland government’s ratings.

Economic data hasn’t shown a strong recovery. China’s exports grew for the first time in six months in November, customs data showed on Thursday, while imports unexpectedly fell following the previous month’s increase.

“China still needs to depend on domestic demand as the main driver for growth in 2024. The fiscal policy stance is the focus for the market,” said Zhiwei Zhang, chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management. “The Central Economic Working Conference next week may shed some light.”

In mainland markets, shares in semiconductors lost 1%, while media firms added 1.8%. In Hong Kong, tech giants dropped 0.7%.

“We believe it is still too early to call the bottom, and there might yet be another economic dip in the first half of 2024 due to a worsening property sector, the fading of pent-up demand, weaker external demand, a slowdown following the investment fervour in ‘green’ sectors and lasting geopolitical tensions,” Nomura analysts said in a note.

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