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China's Stock Market Hit with Turmoil in July

08/01/2015

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[00:00.00]
  • From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.
  • [00:05.42]
  • The last two months have been difficult for investors in China's stock markets.
  • [00:12.36]
  • Major stock indexes, measures that track share values, all had big decreases during the month.
  • [00:21.92]
  • This has many people questioning what China's stock market problems mean for its economy and the world.
  • [00:31.23]
  • On July 27th, the Shanghai Composite index dropped more than eight percent in value, its largest single-day drop in eight years.
  • [00:43.68]
  • In recent weeks, prices dropped although the government put a number of measures in place to keep prices from falling too far.
  • [00:54.96]
  • These included lending billions of dollars to stock trading companies,
  • [01:01.49]
  • having pension funds increase stock holdings and threatening short-sellers with legal action.
  • [01:09.70]
  • Short-sellers make a profit by trading stocks that are decreasing in prices.
  • [01:17.47]
  • The state China Securities Finance Corporation on Tuesday said it will continue to buy stocks to "stabilize" the market.
  • [01:28.69]
  • The People's Bank of China also said it would place over $8 billion into money markets funds, which are considered safe debt investments.
  • [01:40.81]
  • Companies have also cancelled plans to sell new shares on exchanges and, at one point, more than 1,400 companies requested that trading in their shares be halted.
  • [01:57.46]
  • However, China's stock market is not closely connected to its economy.
  • [02:03.69]
  • The Associated Press recently reported on a study by the Southwestern University of Finance in Chengdu, China.
  • [02:14.05]
  • It said only 8.8 percent of households in China are involved in the market.
  • [02:21.71]
  • That is much lower than the 30 percent of households in the U.S. with investment in the market.
  • [02:29.91]
  • Many of the companies listed on Chinese markets are state-owned companies.
  • [02:37.21]
  • Investors react to changes in government regulations and to availability of financing for trading.
  • [02:46.53]
  • This can mean that share prices do not follow the economic performance of the companies that issue them.
  • [02:55.77]
  • In the twelve months before June, China's stock market measures gained about 150 percent.
  • [03:04.92]
  • At the same time, China reported lower economic growth during the same period.
  • [03:12.16]
  • China's share price drop has had a limited effect on stock exchanges around the world.
  • [03:19.83]
  • Stock indexes in Europe and Asia have had decreases in July.
  • [03:26.71]
  • But, China limits the number of stocks that foreign investors can buy through a link called the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connection.
  • [03:38.01]
  • In the case of China, that means money from foreign investors cannot easily flow in or out.
  • [03:47.36]
  • Some experts say recent losses could be a sign that Chinese investors are worried that the government plans to reduce its support for the market.
  • [04:00.00]
  • I'm Mario Ritter.
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