We may be reaching the point where combined politburo and PBOC ops to stem sell-mania in the Shanghai markets are running out of laws, restrictions, cash and ideas. Yesterday was a terrible day on the world’s bourses, and overnight the SSE Comp dropped 1.9% despite the daily dollop of support after lunch. The Slog suggests that a second global correction is on the horizon.
Lots of people in the West see China as “past the worst”, but every data chart that emerges proves them wrong. They also underestimate the sheer amount of pit-props being applied to the Shanghai ceiling. Put the Shanghai and Hong Kong markets side by side, and the degree of manipulation will, at times, be obvious.
The Hang Seng (Hong Kong) Index does strictly come under Chinese tutelage; but unlike the Shanghai markets, the HSI is majority owned by HSBC. Far be it from me to suggest that HSBC is a paragon of verité, but the Hang Seng records the fortunes of 58 HK concerns not in receipt of People’s Bank of China junk-buying subsidies: thus, it reflects reality far more than the Shanghai Comp….on the grounds that even the Libor rate is closer to reality than the Shanghai.
This simple comparison makes the point from yesterday (Thursday):
Note how both head for the sewers in the morning, but whereas by the close the Hang Seng winds up – after weak rallies – below its morning losses, the SSE Comp finishes the day in positive territory. The difference is obviously the PBOC bringing more fingers to bear on more leaking dykes. Yes, I do realise that dykes and pit props make for mixed metaphors, but that’s not important right now.
Gradually – and it will soon be a lot less gradual – the major world markets are factoring in this falsehood, and adjusting their expectations accordingly. More dire Chinese slowdown data and gloom about commodity prices, once added to this, produced yesterday’s pretty awful performances by the Dow, the Nasdaq, the FTSE100 and the DAXI
The Dow is now closer than ever to the 16000 correction point, while the FTSE spent much of the day below its 6000 equivalent. Even with billions of Yuan thrown at the Truth, the Shanghai Composite is this morning only 80 points above the 3000. Projecting a level without the PBOC spending spree, it would be at or near 2000 by now.
No doubt today some kind of “rally” will occur to take us into the weekend, but the trend is now more clearly in place than it was during midyear 2008….for those who want to see it.
As I posted last night, for those who’d prefer that we don’t see it, there are endless weapons of mass distraction. I do not believe that they invent them, but I do believe they exploit them – pace the classic Blairite Whitehall email, “Bearing in mind the media dominance of yesterday’s attack on the World Trade Center, this would be the maximal moment to release bad news”.
“George Osborne takes hare up the arse, gold falls to 15p a ton” may not represent a conspiracy, but it is a very fortunate coincidence. Except for a hare that’s long in gold.