Business / Markets

Booming stock market a yes vote for China economy

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-09 09:26

BEIJING - Chinese shares are on a bull run in spite of a slowing economy. The market, while bewildering some traders, stands as a natural reflection of the great expectations for the world's second largest economy, which is undergoing transformation and restructuring.

Boosted by strong confidence and ample liquidity, the Shanghai Composite Index continued its winning streak and advanced to fresh seven-year highs on Wednesday.

During the trading, the Shanghai shares climbed above 4,000 points, a key benchmark, for the first time since early 2008.

The Shenzhen Component Index gained 0.53 percent to close at 13,841.72 points, also a fresh seven-year high.

Combined daily turnover on the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses set a new record at 1.55 trillion yuan ($251 billion).

Heavyweights led the surge, as PetroChina, the country's largest oil and gas producer, jumped 1.96 percent to end at 12.51 yuan per share, and major insurer China Life jumped 4.3 percent to 40.75 yuan.

The railway infrastructure sector expanded by 4.4 percent. High speed rail manufacturers China North Railway and China South Railway rose by the daily limit of 10 percent, as their merger progresses.

The financial sector jumped 3.78 percent, led by Western Securities, which climbed by the daily limit of 10 percent.

The fresh highs were reached in spite of an upcoming wave of new share offerings which will reduce liquidity.

China's security regulator last week approved 30 initial public offerings (IPOs), which could lock up as much as 3.7 trillion yuan in subscription funds over the next two weeks.

Analysts attributed the booming market to liquidity as a result of the monetary easing. Combined daily turnovers on the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses has remained above one trillion yuan for the past two weeks.

To bolster the lukewarm real economy, the central bank has cut benchmark interest rates twice and banks' reserve requirement ratios (RRR) once since November.

About one trillion yuan of fresh funds flowed into the stock market in the first quarter of this year, reported the official Securities Times on Friday.

For individual investors in China, the stock market is clearly not plain sailing. Shanghai shares have been sinking for about five years before the start of this round of bull market late in 2014.

In August of 2009 the index was just shy of 3,500 points and has lost about a third of its value since. Even the key 4000-point mark is still some 2,000 points short of the all-time high reached in October 2007 at 6124. The ship appeared to be foundering and numerous investors closed their accounts and jumped overboard.

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