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Nation still has sufficient policy tools

2020-3-24 12:16

An investor looks at share prices at a brokerage in Fuyang, Anhui province, on Friday. [Photo by Wang Biao/For China Daily]

 

China still has relatively ample policy tools to maintain the stability of its financial markets and the yuan's exchange rate despite emerging markets' stocks and currencies facing growing selling pressure amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, economists said on Monday.

 

The country's A-share market and its currency will not be immune to the external volatility but China could be better positioned than other countries to weather the global financial turmoil as policymakers in Beijing have enough ammunition to maintain domestic market stability, they said.

 

"While it is impossible for the A shares to stay completely unaffected, the epidemic in China has been better controlled and the economic outlook is becoming clearer. Additionally, the Chinese central bank is capable of keeping domestic liquidity and the market stable while there have been some capital outflows," said Xu Gao, chief economist at BOC International.

 

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was down by 3.1 percent on Monday at 2660.17 points. The ChiNext Index in Shenzhen, which tracks technology-focused startups, declined by 4.59 percent to close at 1827.05 points. The value of onshore-traded yuan weakened to 7.12 per dollar as of Monday afternoon.

 

The stock market rout in the United States over the past weeks has caused a domino effect in other parts of the world, prompting investors to sell their risky assets and driving up the demand for the US dollar in cash. This trend has put increasing downward pressure on emerging markets' stock prices and currencies and there have been signs that capital begins to flow back to the US.

 

The A-share market has seen a net foreign capital outflow of more than 20 billion yuan ($285 million) since the beginning of the year, according to the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

 

Nonetheless, the country's equities markets have remained relatively stable and shown stronger resilience against external fluctuations. The Shanghai Composite Index has declined by about 10 percent since February while the US Dow Jones Industrial Average Index has plunged by more than 30 percent.

 

Li Chao, vice-chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said on Sunday that the resilience of the A-share market is related to the earlier domestic reform, which effectively reduced the amount of highly leveraged investment in the market.

 

The relative stability of the Chinese equities market also benefited from the sufficient liquidity and the low valuations of listed companies. Investors' sentiment is also supported by an improving economic environment as 98 percent of listed companies have resumed production, Li said.

 

While policymakers in Europe and the United States appeared to have run out of policy options by already substantially cutting interest rates to near-zero or negative territory to stimulate the economy, China's central bank and financial authorities have been more conservative and refrained from using massive easing policies to flood the markets with cheaper money.

 

The People's Bank of China, the central bank, has kept the benchmark one-year lending interest rate unchanged at 4.05 percent from February's level. Instead, what the PBOC has done is cutting banks' reserve requirement ratios in a targeted approach and offering more relending to commercial banks. These moves aimed to ensure smaller businesses are able to gain necessary and affordable credit and prevent their cash flows from being disrupted by the economic damage caused by the epidemic.

 

"Reserving policy room appears to be a wise move at the moment for the central banks as we believe that there could be a substantial economic recession when global monetary and fiscal policies are completely depleted," said Steven Zhang, chief economist at Morgan Stanley Huaxin Securities.

 

周五,一名投资者在安徽省阜阳市一家证券公司查看股价。[中国日报王彪摄]


经济学家周一表示,中国仍有相对充足的政策工具来维持金融市场和人民币汇率的稳定,尽管在新型冠状病毒爆发之际,新兴市场的股票和货币面临越来越大的抛售压力。


他们表示,中国的a股市场和人民币汇率不会免受外部波动的影响,但在抵御全球金融动荡方面,中国可能比其它国家处于更有利的地位,因为北京的政策制定者有足够的弹药来维持国内市场稳定。


“尽管A股不可能完全不受影响,但中国的疫情得到了更好的控制,经济前景正变得更加明朗。此外,中国央行有能力在资本外流的情况下保持国内流动性和市场稳定,”中银国际(BOC International)首席经济学家许高表示。


上证综合指数周一下跌3.1%,至2660.17点。追踪科技类初创企业的深圳创业板指数下跌4.59%,收于1827.05点。截至周一下午,离岸人民币汇率跌至1美元兑7.12元人民币。


美国股市过去几周的暴跌在世界其他地区引发了多米诺骨牌效应,促使投资者抛售风险资产,并推高了对美元现金的需求。这一趋势给新兴市场的股价和汇率带来了越来越大的下行压力,有迹象表明,资本开始回流美国。


中国证券监督管理委员会(csrc)的数据显示,自今年年初以来,a股市场的外资净流出超过人民币200亿元(合2.85亿美元)。


尽管如此,中国股市仍相对稳定,对外部波动表现出了更强的弹性。自2月份以来,上证综合指数下跌了约10%,而美国道琼斯工业平均指数下跌了30%以上。


中国证券监督管理委员会(csrc)副主席李超上周日表示,a股市场的弹性与国内较早的改革有关,改革有效地减少了市场上的高杠杆投资。


中国股市的相对稳定也得益于充足的流动性和上市公司的低估值。李说,随着98%的上市公司恢复生产,经济环境的改善也支持了投资者的信心。


在欧洲和美国的政策制定者们似乎已经耗尽的政策选择大幅削减利率接近于零或负值来刺激经济,中国央行和金融当局一直倾向于保守和避免使用大量涌入市场的宽松政策和更便宜的钱。


中国人民银行将一年期贷款基准利率保持在4.05%不变。相反,中国央行所做的是有针对性地降低银行存款准备金率,并向商业银行提供更多贷款。这些举措旨在确保中小企业能够获得必要的、负担得起的信贷,并防止它们的现金流受到艾滋病疫情造成的经济损失的干扰。


摩根士丹利华信证券(Morgan Stanley Huaxin Securities)首席经济学家张智威(Steven Zhang)表示:“对央行而言,目前保留政策空间似乎是明智之举,因为我们认为,当全球货币和财政政策完全耗尽时,可能会出现严重的经济衰退。”

 

原作者: Li Xiang 来自: china daily