Worst start to a year for Chinese stocks since 2016

London, Jan 22 (IANS) China’s stock market had a rough 2023 and the rout has accelerated in the first few weeks of the New Year, after Beijing dashed hopes that it might do more to support the struggling economy, a media report said.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 2.3 per cent on Monday, closing at its lowest level since October 2022. The index has lost more than 12 per cent so far this month, nearly as much as it lost in all of 2023, CNN reported.

Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 2.7 per cent in its biggest daily drop since April 2022. The Shenzhen Component Index, a tech-heavy benchmark, had its worst day in nearly two years, plunging 3.5 per cent. The indexes have tanked 4.8 per cent and 7.7 per cent, respectively, in the first trading days of 2024, the report said.

It’s the worst start to a year for Chinese stocks since 2016, when investors were ditching their holdings following a market crash in 2015. A bubble popped as the economy showed signs of strain and share prices got way ahead of company profits.

In recent months, a real estate crisis, the slowest growth (outside the pandemic) in decades, and a crackdown on some businesses have all combined to undermine investor confidence.

Ken Cheung, chief Asian foreign exchange strategist for Mizuho Bank, said Monday that foreign investors were continuing to “reduce their risk exposure” to China and had “bearish expectations” for business conditions in the country.



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