China’s mainland markets have resembled a white-knuckle rollercoaster rider in the past nine months. Nearly US$3 trillion has been wiped off the Shanghai Composite Index during that period and $1.1 trillion in Shenzhen.
Bearing the brunt of the turmoil has been an army of 150 million individual investors, despite the People’s Bank of China pumping billions of dollars of liquidity into the markets.
On Tuesday, this action plan was tweaked with the China Securities Regulatory Commission announcing a package of measures, which helped Shanghai and Shenzhen move into positive territory after earlier losses.
“The market rebound came as the CSRC published a statement on its official website, saying it would create conditions to encourage listed companies to conduct stock repurchases,” the state-run Global Times reported.
These “conditions” included improving liquidity and guiding long-term capital into the market, as well as encouraging share buybacks, and mergers and acquisitions by listed firms.
“From the currency point of view, this simply means that fiscal policy is more expansionary. And of course, this raises a bit of concern … that China’s fiscal deficit will widen further,” Koon How Heng, the head of markets strategy at United Overseas Bank, told CNBC’s “Street Signs” in response to the decision taken by the CSRC.
Still, the regulator was already in a corner following a summer meltdown of the markets and fears that United States President Donald Trump was poised to escalate the trade war by imposing tariffs on all Chinese imports worth $507 billion.
“Investors will continue to monitor the situation closely as the two biggest world economies bash heads and the fallout hits the rest of the world,” Rakuten Securities Australia stated in a note.