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Chinese stocks got hammered at the close

Despite further monetary policy easing from the PBOC and restrictions on some forms of futures trading, Chinese stocks fell yet again on Wednesday.

Whatever word you choose to describe it – chaotic, wild, skittish or others – the movements during the session were ridiculously rapid.

Stocks opened higher, then tanked, then roared higher again before sliding into the close.

It’s truly head-spinning stuff, and increasingly familiar for those who have been watching closely.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index closed the session down 1.3%, but that only partially tells the story.

Early in the session the index fell by close to 4% before staging an enormous rally, largely on the back of suspected government-backed intervention, which saw the index briefly rally more than 4% in early afternoon trade.

Alas, despite that suspected intervention, it was not enough to see the index hold in positive territory.

From the market’s multi-year peak of 5178.2 struck on June 12, the index has now lost 43.5%.

From the 12 months earlier, its gain has been trimmed to only 33%.

As is usually the case, the movements in the benchmark index were replicated in other mainland indices, with the exception of large-cap stocks.

The CSI 300 and 500 indices, comprising the 300 and 500-largest firms by market capitalisation in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell by 0.57% and 3.75% respectively.

Like the CSI 500, other small cap indices were also trashed with the Shenzhen Composite and tech-heavy ChiNext finishing lower by 3% and 5% respectively.

The SSE 50 index, comprising large cap stocks, was the exception to the rule, managing to close the session up 1.46%. As the tweet below from George Chen notes, suspected government intervention was concentrated in large-cap state-backed banking stocks.

While not as severe as market losses earlier in the week, it was just as volatile, with the end result still the same despite suspected further intervention.

Given that involvement, along with further monetary policy easing announced overnight on Tuesday, wasn’t enough to stop the slide, it’d take a brave investor to suggest there won’t be further losses to come.

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