China's number of new investors grew in April at slowest in 13 mths

SHANGHAI, May 15 (Reuters) - The number of China’s new investors grew in April at its slowest pace in 13 months, hit by a lack of upside momentum for the stock market and persistent worries over policy tightening.

The number of new investors for the A-share market increased by 1.7 million in April, or 3.1% year-on-year, its slowest since March 2020, data from the China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Limited (CSDC) showed.

Total investors stood at 185.6 million by April, up 12.5% on the year, it added.

The benchmark CSI300 index closed up 2.4% on Friday, but was 14% off an all-time high hit on Feb. 18, as worries over lofty valuations, policy tightening and Sino-U.S. tension weighed on sentiment.

The index has been trading in narrow ranges since early March, when it tumbled as much as 17% from its record high, dampening investor appetite for equities.

Analysts and traders said the stock market would probably remain rangebound, given inflation worries and the central bank’s tightening bias, thanks to a solid economic recovery from the coronavirus outbreak.

The central bank tightening will not be very strong in the short term, although inflation expectations will still dampen market sentiment to some extent, Vanho Securities analysts said in a note.

Chinese money and lending data on Wednesday showed bank lending and broader credit slowed more than expected in April as the central bank gradually scales back pandemic-drive stimulus. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and David Stanway; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)