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Chinese stocks withstand global financial turmoil

By Zhou Lanxu | China Daily | Updated: 2020-03-20 08:34

China's stock market withstood another round of overseas sell-offs on Thursday, pointing to growing market resilience against the current global financial turmoil, analysts said. [Photo/Sipa]

China's stock market withstood another round of overseas sell-offs on Thursday, pointing to growing market resilience against the current global financial turmoil, analysts said.

The key Shanghai Composite Index ended down by 0.98 percent to close at 2,702.13, while the ChiNext Index, which tracks Shenzhen's innovative startup-heavy board, rose by 0.42 percent to 1,894.94.

This came after the global market rout triggered by the worsening spread of novel coronavirus pneumonia, with stock trading in South Korea, the Philippines and Indonesia halted after plunging on Thursday.

The S&P 500 in the United States slid by 7 percent amid Wednesday's trading and tripped an automatic trading halt, the fourth time since last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 6.3 percent lower, closing below 20,000 for the first time in three years.

The relatively stable performance of China's A-share market on Thursday has reflected its resilience against the recent global market turmoil caused by uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, said Xu Gao, chief economist at BOC International (China) Co.

"The A-share market is wobbling, but it has gained its footing from fundamentals," Xu said, citing that the outlook of epidemic control and economic rebound is clearer in China than in the US and European economies.

Investors are betting on the rebound of the Chinese economy, as retailers and listed firms engaging in internet data center construction led the market on Thursday.

Authorities at different levels have been working to facilitate consumption recovery and infrastructure investment in high-tech sectors including data centers to shore up economic growth.

The country's top leadership also called for strengthening research and analysis of the global economic situation.

Targeted policies and measures should be formed in a timely manner, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee said after a meeting on Wednesday.

China's A-share market is expected to regain its upward momentum in the second quarter of the year with the recovery in domestic economic conditions as well as global investor sentiment, analysts with CITIC Securities said in a report.

"After the current global sell-off of risky assets, the weighting of A-shares in global investors' portfolios may evidently increase as they reallocate their money," the report said, citing China's preliminary control of the epidemic, low reliance on external demand and stable sovereign credit rating.

FTSE Russell, a global multi-asset index provider, is expected to add more A-shares to its global index series on Friday, with more to be added in June. The move will lead to capital inflow from passively managed funds tracking the indexes.

Jameel Ahmad, global head of currency strategy and market research at foreign exchange broker FXTM, said more capital is expected to enter the mainland stock market than exit this year, despite the current net outflow driven by low risk appetite.

"China has the advantage of having both the fiscal and monetary pushes to help stimulate the recovery, while most other economies that will face the same economic headwinds do not have the same level of playing cards at their disposal," Ahmad said.

Li Xiang in Beijing and Scott Reeves in New York contributed to this story.

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