The Chinese stock market saw a much-needed rebound on Tuesday, thanks to promising developments in government support and potential economic stimulus. Investor sentiment was further boosted by reports suggesting the scrapping of videogame rules targeting tech giants, a move that has been widely anticipated.
Government Measures to Prop Up Stock Market
Anonymous sources have revealed that the Chinese government is considering a package of measures to prop up the stock market. According to Bloomberg, plans include mobilizing a significant amount of offshore funds amounting to 2 trillion yuan ($282 billion) from state-owned enterprises' accounts in Hong Kong to buy shares. Additionally, local funds worth 300 billion yuan will be utilized to invest in onshore shares.
Economic Challenges Faced by China
The Shanghai and Hong Kong stock markets have been experiencing a downward trend over the past year as China's economy faces several challenges. These include a slowdown in manufacturing, deflation concerns, and pressure on consumers. Furthermore, the vulnerable Chinese property sector adds to the woes, with its debt burden posing a potential risk to the wider financial system.
Promising Market Response
In response to the positive developments, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged by an impressive 2.6% on Tuesday. This surge was also reflected in the Hang Seng Properties index, which rallied by 2.8%. Chinese tech stocks, such as Alibaba and JD.com, experienced gains in U.S. premarket trading, with Alibaba's shares up by 1.3% and JD.com's gaining 3.1%.
Relief for Gamers
Another reason for optimism among investors is the potential shelving of draft rules proposed last month by China's gaming regulator. These rules aimed to restrict spending made through videogames. However, it appears that the draft rules may have been scrapped, as the link to them on the regulator's website was removed on Tuesday, following a functioning link on Monday. Reuters also confirmed this change after conducting checks of their own. It is worth noting that access to the National Press and Publication Administration site was unavailable on Tuesday.
While challenges persist, the recent developments in government support and the potential relaxation of videogame rules have given investors a reason to be cautiously optimistic about the future of Chinese stocks.
Easing Regulations Give a Boost to Chinese Game Developers
Shares of Tencent and NetEase, the largest videogame developers in China, experienced a surge in trading. Tencent's stock rose 3.7% in Hong Kong, while NetEase saw a 3.2% increase in premarket trading in the U.S.
While it is uncertain whether the Chinese regulators will revise their draft rules or not, the reaction in the stock market indicates a more optimistic outlook. It seems that easing regulations for struggling tech companies and providing direct support through stock purchases may be the way forward as Chinese officials attempt to reassure investors and stabilize the country's markets.
China has shown resistance to Western-style consumption-driven stimulus. On Monday, the country's central bank refrained from cutting interest rates, which would have been a quick solution for stimulating growth but could lead to increased borrowing.
However, investors should remain cautious. Chinese stocks have been fluctuating for months based on rumors of stimulus plans, and concrete measures have thus far failed to meet market expectations. For example, stocks like Alibaba experienced a significant decline on Monday following the central bank's decision, only to rally on Tuesday due to reports of a new stimulus plan and potential changes to tech regulations.
These gradual updates do little to alter the overall picture: investing in China remains risky, despite the perception that Chinese stocks are undervalued. Many seasoned investors are currently adopting a wait-and-see approach.