You are currently viewing our desktop site, do you want to download our app instead?
Moneyweb Android App Moneyweb iOS App Moneyweb Mobile Web App
Join our mailing list to receive top business news every weekday morning.

China traders making easy money while rest of world panics

Stocks in Shanghai and Shenzhen has jumped 14% in just over a month.
China's stock market is surging as others falter. Image: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg

Global markets in turmoil. Central banks rushing to arrest panic. But in China, the country most affected by the virus outbreak, it’s boom time for traders.

A gauge of stocks in Shanghai and Shenzhen has jumped 14% in just over a month to close at a two-year high on Thursday. One exchange-traded fund focused on 5G amassed $2 billion in days as investors clamoured to chase a rally in tech shares. Seeking to maximise returns, punters have driven stock leverage and daily turnover past 1 trillion yuan ($142 billion), both near four-year highs. Government bonds have surged too, with the 10-year yield approaching its lowest level since 2002.

Read: Chinese shares at two-year high show market resilience to virus

It’s a sharp turnaround from just a month ago, when the virus darkened factories across the nation, whole cities were isolated under quarantine and the stock market was hit by the most savage selling in years.

The swift response from the Communist Party to arrest the spread of the deadly disease helped restore confidence as the number of new infections outside of the worst-hit province of Hubei drop. A succession of policy-easing measures ensured liquidity was ample in markets, with a measure of interbank borrowing costs tumbling to its lowest level in almost a decade. Another impetus for the rally: the prospect of massive fiscal stimulus similar to that unleashed in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The result is an explosion of speculative trading by Chinese investors hooked on greed at a time when global equity markets are imploding and fear is rampant — as seen in Wall Street’s session Thursday, when the S&P 500 Index slid 3.4%. Shanghai’s equity benchmark has become this week’s top performing in the world.

“Chinese equities provide a hedge against the recent volatility in global risk assets,” Eugenia Victorino, head of Asia strategy at SEB AB, wrote in a note Thursday. “We continue to believe in the resilience in Chinese equities in the near term.”

She recommends a long position in Chinese equity futures, targeting another 16% rally.

Still, the contrast to the rest of the world is glaring, especially given the potentially devastating impact of the virus to an economy already struggling under a mountain of debt and weakened by the trade war with the US Factory activity contracted by the most on record in February and economists continue to lower their China growth forecasts.

Private enterprise faces a rising debt bill and an increase in defaults is likely this year. Just last week the government took over once-acquisitive HNA Group after the contagion hurt the firm’s ability to meet debt obligations.

Yet, for now, investors have faith in the government to navigate this crisis like it has others in recent decades. China’s army of about 160 million retail traders are a formidable force when momentum starts to take off, as seen by a rush into new mutual stock funds as well as ETFs.

As China’s markets continue to defy gravity, the rest of the world can only look on with wonder — or fear that it could all come crashing down.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

COMMENTS   6

Sort by:
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Top voted

You must be signed in to comment.

SIGN IN SIGN UP

Let’s hope it’s not just people having too much time on their hands as they’re being quarantined and using it to ‘play the stock market’ like they’re playing Tencent games.
Tencent (maybe unsurprisingly ex post) has seen some of their online grow daily average users 109% since December.

The image with every Asian wearing a mask may appear alarming to the rest of the world. This images was probably taken from the web long before Coronavirus.

Masks worn by Asians are partly a FASHION statement these days, and offers superfluous protection.

https://qz.com/299003/a-quick-history-of-why-asians-wear-surgical-masks-in-public/

https://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/28826/1/how-surgical-masks-became-a-fashion-statement

https://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/fashion/article/3051379/how-face-masks-became-fashion-statement-stylish

Michael Jackson also wore a mask for a fashion statement lol

Weirdly, an even bigger trading opp happened in Apple (biggest company in the world) the last two weeks. Say you held them. Sold at 325, bought back at 265 (60 cash), sold again at 300 (another 35 cash). Buy back again at 290. So still have your original shares but also have $100+ cash or a third of what you had Valentines Day. Yes, perfect timing 🙂

Die een se dood issie ander een se brood

Wow. Chineses propaganda in full swing. Bloomberg and naspers…and sadly moneyweb too it seems.

End of comments.

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR

Podcasts

NEWSLETTERS WEB APP SHOP PORTFOLIO TOOL TRENDING CPD HUB

Follow us:

Search Articles:Advanced Search
Click a Company: