China’s change of tack on Covid is off to a rocky start

China’s change of tack on Covid is off to a rocky start

Just days after China’s government unwound its 0-Covid policy and eased lockdowns much earlier than expected, the country is seeing a surge of infection that already threatens to overwhelm hospitals. “The speed of changes on the ground has surprised many, including us,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s chief China economist Hui Shan wrote in a note Sunday. “Not even a month ago, official outlets were still emphasizing that ‘20 measures’ were about optimizing the implementation of dynamic zero-Covid policy, rather than abandoning it. A few short weeks later, many controls are removed, and the virus seems to be spreading quickly among the population.” It’s unclear how quickly new cases are climbing

China’s change of tack on Covid is off to a rocky start

China Covid cases near April peak; Beijing, Shanghai tighten restrictions

On Monday China reported 28,127 new domestically transmitted Covid cases on Monday as the country neared its April peak. Infections in the southern city of Guangzhou and the southwestern municipality of Chongqing accounted for about half the total. In Beijing, cases have hit new highs every day, prompting calls from the city government for more residents to stay in place and show proof of a negative COVID test, not more than 48 hours old, to get into public buildings. Beijing shut parks and museums on Tuesday. Late on Tuesday, Shanghai announced that from Thursday people may not enter venues such as shopping malls and restaurants within five days of arriving in the city, although they can still go to offices and use transport. Earlier, the city of 25 million people ordered the closure of cultural and entertainment venues in seven of its 16 districts after reporting 48 new local infections. So much for hopes of a quick reopening of China’s economy.

China’s change of tack on Covid is off to a rocky start

I got these two key China trends wrong: Selling BABA and TCEHY

When I added Alibaba (BABA) to my Jubak’s Picks Portfolio on April 29, 2022, and Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) to my Volatility Portfolio on January 3, 2022, I thought two things were about to happen in China. First, I thought that the People’s Bank would unleash enough stimulus to more than compensate for the slowdown in China’s economy. And, second, I thought that we’d seen the end of the regulatory crackdown on China’s big entrepreneurial technology companies. I got both trends wrong.

China’s economy in worse shape than we thought

China’s economy in worse shape than we thought

China’s factory output and consumer spending both slowed in July, new numbers released today by the National Bureau of Statistics showed. Industrial production rose 3.8% from a year ago. That’s lower than June’s 3.9% year-over-year rate and below economists’ forecast of a 4.3% increase. Retail sales growth slowed to 2.7% in July, lower than economists’ projection of 4.9%.

China’s economy staggers in June quarter

China’s economy staggers in June quarter

China’s economy grew at just a 0.4% rate in the June quarter. Thanks to a Pandemic lockdown that covered 350 million people, China’s GDP grew at the second lowest rate ever recorded. The numbers mean that China will miss its GDP growth target of 5.5% a year by a big margin. Goldman Sachs cut its forecast to 3.3% growth for the year.

People’s Bank withdraws cash from China’s financial system

People’s Bank withdraws cash from China’s financial system

The People’s Bank of China slashed its daily short-term liquidity operation to 3 billion yuan ($447 million) this week, the smallest amount since January 2021. At this pace, it’s likely to remove more cash in the first five days of July than it injected at the end of June. At the current rate, the People’s Bank would drain a net 428 billion yuan ($64 billion) of cash in the first five days of July, more than the 400 billion it injected at the end of June. The move looks like an effort to “normalize” China’s financial markets after a period when the People’s Bank added cash to the system in an effort to lower interest rates and increase lending in order to stimulate economic growth after Pandemic lockdowns crushed China’s economy. And to bring monetary policy at China’s central bank in line with that at other central banks that are raising interest rates. Efforts to drain liquidity from the financial system are never good for China’s stock market.

China’s change of tack on Covid is off to a rocky start

China’s growth plunged in April

Industrial output unexpectedly fell 2.9% in April from April 2021, China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported today. Retail sales contracted 11.1%. Economists had projected a 6.6% drop. The unemployment rate climbed to 6.1% and the youth jobless rate hit a record. Monday’s data suggests China’s gross domestic product declined 0.68% in April from a year ago, the first contraction since February 2020,

China’s economy in worse shape than we thought

Re-buying Alibaba for my JubakPicks Portfolio today

The Chinese government has promised more stimulus to prop up growth in the country’s economy and the Politburo has indicated that, at least temporarily, it will slow the pace of its regulatory crack down on China’s Internet companies. The combination, as I posted in today’s Quick Pick YouTube video, has launched a huge rally in China’s Internet and e-commerce stocks. As of 3 p.m. on Friday, April 29, the New York traded shares of Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) wee up 8.95%. JD.com (JD) hadgained 7.72%. And Ablibaba (BABA), the big name among foreign investors and the leading target of government regulators is up 8.26%. On this trend, I’m adding shares of Alibaba to my JubakPicks Portfolio today

Just what China’s economy doesn’t need: Energy shutdowns due to high temperatures

China tries old play book to stimulate economy

China’s President Xi Jinping has vowed to boost China’s economy, struggling under the impact of widespread Covid-19 lockdowns and a collapse in the property development sector, by pushing more infrastructure spending into the economy. This has been China’s tried and true first response to faltering growth. But this time it seems unlikely to work.

China’s change of tack on Covid is off to a rocky start

Fears of new Covid lockdown in Beijing send stocks reeling

China expanded coronavirus testing to most of Beijing as rising cases fuel fears about an unprecedented lockdown of the capital. Officials on Monday night said testing would take place in another 11 of Beijing’s 16 districts, moving beyond just Chaoyang, where most of the infections have been detected since Friday. The city of more than 20 million people has already locked down parts of the eastern district of Chaoyang, home to 3.5 million people, with plans to ease restrictions after residents complete a testing regimen on April 27. The bad news from Beijing added to new bad news from a locked down Shanghai