After a 24% rally in their stock market from the start of July, the Shanghai Composite index saw a sharp reversal down 17% as data shows a patched recovery in China.
Bloomberg reporting industrial output was lower by 1.3% while retail sales plummeted 11.4%, showing strong weakness in the consumer, which use to be the backbone of many economies. Michelle Lam, China economist at Societe General SA in Hong Kong, stated that the recovery was "driven by credit stimulus as evident in the strong infrastructure and property investment, while the recovery in sales in retail sales and private investment has continued to lag."
It is interesting to note that the strong infrastructure and property investment gains are on the back of the PBOC's wary of cutting rates earlier in the year when the Coronavirus hits. In favour of a more direct approach, China issued bonds, facilitated direct lending and lowered the reserve ratio required for banks to provide liquidity into the money markets. These measures injected more than 1.7 Trillion Yuan ($220 Billion) of liquidity into the money markets. This is a stark contrast to how 38 other central banks around the world tackled the Coronavirus early this year by slashing interest rates. Michelle continues, stating that "Policymakers will probably save bullets and hold back broad-back easing and find the current growth trajectory acceptable." This sentiment is backed by Ma Jun, a PBOC adviser, stating that "the PBOC doesn't use all its bullets at once. China has plenty of room in monetary policy."
The recent bull run has given many Chinese retail traders great euphoria. Bloomberg documented Min Hang, who opened her trading account, stating that "There is no way I can lose" and that "[she] feels invincible." The rally added $1 Trillion of value in the span of 8 days, topping China's equity market valuation to 10 trillion – the top of the bubble in 2015. However, being known as the world's manufacturer, China continues upward hinges on the global economy to recover. Ding Shuang, chief economist for China and North Asia at Standard Chartered, stated that Coronavirus around the world continues to affect businesses around the world, which "may weaken demand for China's goods and services and is the main risk facing China's economy."
This highlights a significant problem with Globalization: Dependency with all the other markets. Amid a trade war between China and the United States, Globalization faces an imminent threat akin to mutually assured destruction. With both countries' interests in the forefront of their foreign policy, they are blinded to the fact that in this day in age their rely on each other more than they give each other credit for.
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