Investors hope Beijing will lift COVID curbs faster as protests rattle markets



*

Dozens of campuses, protesters make show of civil disobedience

*

No sign of new protests in Beijing, Shanghai on Monday

*

China bonds, stocks have suffered hefty outflows in 2022

By Karin Strohecker and Dhara Ranasinghe

LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Rare protests rippling across China over Beijing's zero-COVID-19 policy may have unleashed a fresh wave of political uncertainty but could also hasten the reopening of the world's number two economy, foreign investors said on Monday.

China's stocks on Monday suffered their worst day in a month .CSI300 and its currency also took a tumble, while global stocks came under pressure and oil prices slumped more than 3% as protesters made a show of civil disobedience unprecedented since President Xi Jinping assumed power a decade ago.

"Protests are a concern in the short-term," Seema Shah, chief strategist at $500 billion asset manager Principal Global Investors told Reuters, adding that latest events supported the view that winds were changing.

"While we have been cautious, there is an important shift going on with the COVID reopening."

China's markets have had a challenging year, suffering from a mix of political risk aversion in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February as well as worries over its economic growth given stringent COVID curbs and the fallout from its property sector woes.

Chinese bond portfolios have posted outflows every month since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, totalling $105.1 billion over nine months, according to data from the Institute of International Finance (IIF). Chinese stock portfolios lost $7.6 billion in October alone, the most since March.

On Monday, the offshore yuan CNH= weakened against the dollar to 7.2468 and the risk sensitive Aussie dollar AUD=D3 , which is strongly tied to Chinese growth, was the worst performing major currency, falling 1.61% to $0.6649.

Shares in Apple Inc AAPL.O slid, down 2.7% as worker unrest at the world's biggest iPhone factory in China stoked fears of a deeper hit to the already constrained production of higher-end phones.

Protests against China's strict zero-COVID policy and restrictions on freedoms have spread to at least a dozen cities around the world in a show of solidarity with rare displays of defiance in China over the weekend.

"Record cases across multiple cities are putting the (zero-COVID) policy to the test and the unrest highlights the enormity of the challenge facing President Xi Jinping and his commitment to zero-Covid," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

"The combination of these creates huge uncertainty, both in terms of how the protests are handled and what the whole experience means for the future of the policy and the economy."

The protests were the strongest public defiance during Xi's political career, China analysts said.

DEMOGRAPHICS

Hopes that Beijing could ease some of its harsh COVID restrictions had recently lifted markets off their lows in a year that has seen domestic blue chips .CSI300 and the Hong Kong .HSI index tumble more than 20% year-to-date.

"The latest events will reinforce the case for reopening," said Vincent Mortier, group chief investment officer at Amundi, Europe's largest asset manager.

The economic pain linked to COVID had started to become a political issue in China, given the impact on youth unemployment in big cities, and adding to pressure on Beijing, which was keen on "avoiding some social unrest", said Mortier.

Demographics have been a major pressure point for China, which has seen youth unemployment hit a record high of around 20% in July.

If protests were to continue, this would add to the risk premium, said Sean Taylor, chief investment officer for Asia-Pacific at DWS Group.

The 833 billion euro asset manager expects that Chinese stocks could see a 15-20% rally once China exits zero-COVID, though markets could be "quite challenging" until then.

Richard Tang, equity research analyst for Asia at Julius Baer, said offshore investors were more worried about recent events than their onshore peers, potentially lifting onshore equity markets.

Tang predicted that if there was no major escalation in the situation, investors would soon shift focus back onto the ruling Communist Party's Central Economic Working Conference in December, which sets the economic agenda for the parliament session, and could confirm a COVID 'policy pivot'.

Others were more cautious. Social discontent stemming from the zero-COVID policy added to risks in executing and implementing government policies, said Mark Haefele, global wealth management CIO at UBS in Zurich.

"We do not expect economic or market headwinds in China to abate significantly over the coming months," Haefele said in a note to clients.

"As a result, we remain neutral on Chinese equities. We also view China’s sluggish recovery as a risk for the global economy and markets."



China covid spike: Increasing COVID-19 cases darkens the outlook
for the world's second largest economy Link
ANALYSIS-China protests highlight Xi's COVID policy dilemma - to
walk it back or not

China tightens security after rare protests against COVID curbs



Reporting by Karin Strohecker and Dhara Ranasinghe in London, Summer Zhen in Hong Kong, Davide Barbuscia in New York; Editing by Gareth Jones and Stephen Coates

Isenção de Responsabilidade: As entidades do XM Group proporcionam serviço de apenas-execução e acesso à nossa plataforma online de negociação, permitindo a visualização e/ou uso do conteúdo disponível no website ou através deste, o que não se destina a alterar ou a expandir o supracitado. Tal acesso e uso estão sempre sujeitos a: (i) Termos e Condições; (ii) Avisos de Risco; e (iii) Termos de Responsabilidade. Este, é desta forma, fornecido como informação generalizada. Particularmente, por favor esteja ciente que os conteúdos da nossa plataforma online de negociação não constituem solicitação ou oferta para iniciar qualquer transação nos mercados financeiros. Negociar em qualquer mercado financeiro envolve um nível de risco significativo de perda do capital.

Todo o material publicado na nossa plataforma de negociação online tem apenas objetivos educacionais/informativos e não contém — e não deve ser considerado conter — conselhos e recomendações financeiras, de negociação ou fiscalidade de investimentos, registo de preços de negociação, oferta e solicitação de transação em qualquer instrumento financeiro ou promoção financeira não solicitada direcionadas a si.

Qual conteúdo obtido por uma terceira parte, assim como o conteúdo preparado pela XM, tais como, opiniões, pesquisa, análises, preços, outra informação ou links para websites de terceiras partes contidos neste website são prestados "no estado em que se encontram", como um comentário de mercado generalizado e não constitui conselho de investimento. Na medida em que qualquer conteúdo é construído como pesquisa de investimento, deve considerar e aceitar que este não tem como objetivo e nem foi preparado de acordo com os requisitos legais concebidos para promover a independência da pesquisa de investimento, desta forma, deve ser considerado material de marketing sob as leis e regulações relevantes. Por favor, certifique-se que leu e compreendeu a nossa Notificação sobre Pesquisa de Investimento não-independente e o Aviso de Risco, relativos à informação supracitada, os quais podem ser acedidos aqui.

Usamos cookies para lhe dar a melhor experiência no nosso website. Ler mais ou alterar as configurações de cookies.

Aviso de risco: O seu capital está em risco. Os produtos alavancados podem não ser adequados para todos. Recomendamos que consulte a nossa Divulgação de Riscos.