China’s Stocks Rise to Three-Week High as Yuan Losses Slow

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China’s stocks rose for the first time in three days as declines for the yuan eased after the central bank signaled support for the currency.

The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.8 percent to 3,954.56 at the close, led by technology and power companies. The onshore yuan weakened 0.2 percent, after a two-day loss of 2.8 percent spurred by Tuesday’s surprise devaluation. There’s no basis for depreciation to persist and the currency’s adjustment after the fixing method change is “basically already completed,” Assistant Governor Zhang Xiaohui, PBOC Assistant Governor Zhang Xiaohui said Thursday at a briefing in Beijing.

The world’s second-biggest economy roiled markets this week by depreciating its currency by the most in two decades. An extended slide risks triggering a series of competitive devaluations and threatens a global deflation shock as prices of exports and commodities fall.

“We felt it’s been an overreaction,” said Sean Darby, Jefferies Group Inc.’s chief global equity strategist in Hong Kong. “I’m sure that people have been disconcerted by the fact that the PBOC decided to surprise the market by letting the exchange rate drop. This has been on the agenda for some time. The move is probably a very good adjustment for China in the longer term.”

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index and the Hang Seng Index both added 0.4 percent. The CSI 300 Index rose 1.5 percent. Trading volumes in Shanghai were 18 percent below the 30-day average.

PBOC Briefing

The freely traded offshore yuan rebounded 1.2 percent, after losing at least 2 percent on each of the last two days. The PBOC will promote a consistent onshore, offshore yuan exchange rate, it said in a statement delivered ahead of the press briefing. The central bank will act “when the market’s volatility is excessive, when the market begins behaving like a herd of sheep,” Deputy Governor Yi Gang said.

The comments were made after the fixing rate of the yuan dropped 1.1 percent to 6.401 per dollar on Thursday, after slides of 1.6 percent and 1.9 percent in the past two days. Tuesday’s shift saw the PBOC apply a new methodology to determine the fixing: market makers who submit contributing prices have to consider the previous day’s close, foreign-exchange demand and supply, and changes in major currency rates.

The Shanghai Composite has fallen 23 percent since the June peak amid concern the nation’s economic slowdown is deepening. Data this month showed producer prices slid in July to the lowest level since 2009 and overseas shipments dropped more than expected. Industrial production and retail sales also missed forecasts last month, according to a report on Wednesday.

Black Swans

Investors should prepare for more surprises out of China after the yuan’s devaluation became the country’s latest unexpected policy move to roil global markets, according to Fraser Howie, co-author of “Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundation of China’s Extraordinary Rise.”

Chinese policy decisions are becoming “erratic” as authorities struggle to combat the nation’s deepest economic slowdown in more than two decades, he said.

Gauges of technology and utility stocks climbed at least 2.8 percent for the biggest gains among the CSI 300’s 10 industry groups. Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp. advanced 3.3 percent, while Huaneng Power International Inc. gained 2.2 percent.

In Hong Kong, Tencent Holdings Ltd. advanced 6.8 percent. Net income climbed 25 percent to 7.31 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) in the three months ended June, the company said on Wednesday. That beat the 7.14 billion-yuan average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Lenovo Group Ltd. slumped 9.1 percent, closing at the lowest level since September 2013. Revenue for the quarter was $10.7 billion, compared with the $11.5 billion average of analyst estimates.

(The language used by the PBOC was corrected in an earlier version of this story.)

— With assistance by Kana Nishizawa

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