As US investors wring their hands about our 10%-15% market declines, China’s near the 50% mark. WSJ:
The sharp decline in Chinese stocks is approaching a milestone: With a 4% drop Friday, the market has fallen by nearly half since its peak last fall. The decline has wiped out nearly $2.5 trillion of wealth and is testing the government’s apparent resolve to let the market find equilibrium on its own.
The plunge has slashed the savings of millions of Chinese investors who jumped into the market as it rose six-fold in two years. It is crimping expansion in the country’s nascent financial sector and may put a squeeze in corporate coffers. But so far, it has not slowed the world’s fastest-growing major economy.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index has lost 49% since topping out, along with other global markets, last October. The slide was triggered by the global economic slowdown combined with the lofty valuations of Chinese stocks. It accelerated recently as investors became convinced the government would not intervene to stop the fall. The index finished Friday at 3094.67, down 4%.
While Chinese shares have been among the hardest-hit anywhere, some other emerging markets have also had a tough time, falling 6% so far this year after rising an average of 32% a year over the past five years. The other big loser is India, which was the other big winner over the past few years. The Mumbai Sensex Index is down 19% so far this year.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government is slamming the breaks on lending to try to control runaway inflation. Sounds like a solid one-two punch to an economy that has long been expected to collapse after Beijing 2008 anyway.
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