China Stocks Buoyed by Eager Small Investors

Millions of individual Chinese investors have been buying stocks, “confident that Beijing has mastered the coronavirus and that cheap money, state spending and lighter regulation will produce a new boom.” This according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal.

The article reports that this enthusiastic buying—funded in large part by borrowed money– is part of the reason Chinese stocks have held up better than others across the globe: “Compared with financial markets elsewhere, those on the mainland are more dominated by small investors, comparatively isolated from the global system, and subject to high levels of government influence.”

Jennifer Li, a bank analyst in Shanghai, believes that onshore stocks (called A-Shares) will rebound in the coming weeks, the article reports. She says, “It is all about faith…we are now way ahead of others in bringing the virus under control.”

The article also cites comments from Société Generale’s Puneet Singh, who said “The rally is purely based on people’s expectations for aggressive stimulus packages.” He added that investors are anticipating deep interest rate cuts as well as significant spending on infrastructure and a suspension of the “long-running de-leveraging campaign against financial risk.”