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August 18, 2016

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Nod for new stock link fails to lift market

SHANGHAI stocks ended lower yesterday as investors did not get fired up over the approval of a new stock trading link.

The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.02 percent to close at 3,109.55 points. The Shenzhen Component Index added just 0.07 percent while the ChiNext rose 0.32 percent.

Brokerages were among the biggest decliners yesterday, with Huatai Securities off 2.1 percent to 21.24 yuan (US$3.20) while Founder Securities fell 1.4 percent to 7.55 yuan.

China on Tuesday approved a new trading link between the Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock exchanges, allowing foreign investors to trade in small-cap Chinese shares while allowing mainland investors access to more Hong Kong-listed counters. But authorities didn’t reveal more details.

“The news didn’t heat up the market because the link has been expected for some time,” said Raymond Ma, portfolio manager at Fidelity International, adding that investors have been trading in the “Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect (which) has already been running for quite some time.”

The launch of the first trading link between Shanghai and Hong Kong bourses in late 2014 was followed by a bull run in the A-share market driven by brokerages.

But it’s unlikely a bull run will be repeated as Gao Ting, head of China Strategy at UBS Securities, said the current market conditions are completely different from those during the launch of the Shanghai connect when interest rate cuts by the central bank and funds helped to catalyze the market.


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