China stocks fell on Monday, hovering near their lowest level for the year so far, after data showed profit at the country's industrial firms slumped in the first four months of 2023.


** China's blue-chip CSI300 Index closed 0.4% lower, while the Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.3%.

** Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index lost 1%, and the China Enterprises Index fell 1.3%.

** Official data on Saturday showed that profit at China's industrial firms fell 20.6% in January-April, from a year earlier, as companies continued to struggle with margin pressures and soft demand amid a faltering economic recovery.

** Chinese companies are struggling with both weak demand at home and softening demand in the country's major export markets.

** Apart from a faltering economy, market participants are also worried about an escalating Sino-U.S. dispute over technology.

** Underscoring foreign investor concerns, foreign money managers sold a net 17.9 billion yuan ($2.59 billion) of China stocks via the Stock Connect Scheme last week, marking the biggest weekly foreign outflow since late October 2022.

** New energy firms slumped 2.4%, machinery companies dropped 1.9% and consumer discretionary shares fell 1.3% to lead the declines.

** Meanwhile, shares of media and communications equipment rose 1.7% and 1.8%, respectively.

** Shares of companies related to China's home-grown narrow-body C919 jet also rose, after the plane completed its first commercial flight

** Tech giants listed in Hong Kong declined 1.2%.

** Meituan slumped 8.1% even after food delivery giant returned to a net profit in the first quarter on forecast-beating revenue as it fended off competition from rivals.

($1 = 6.9121 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)