Chinese Stocks Just Lost 10 Times Greece's GDP

"What happens in China will turn out to be far more consequential than any sting that Greece may deliver," says HSBC's Neumann

As Europeans hold their breath awaiting a referendum that will help determine Greece's future in the euro zone, a stock market slump on the other side of the world is causing barely a ripple in global markets.


A dizzying three-week plunge in Chinese equities has wiped out $2.36 trillion in market value -- equivalent to about 10 times Greece's gross domestic product last year.


Still, the closed nature of China's financial markets is allowing the rest of the world to watch in wonder without seeing spillovers into their markets...yet.

"What happens in China will turn out to be far more consequential than any sting that Greece may deliver over the coming weeks or months,'' said Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asian economic research at HSBC Holdings Plc in Hong Kong. "As China's equity markets lose their roar, the risk is that demand more broadly on the Mainland could take a hit. That would knock out an essential engine of world demand over the past decade. As dramatic as events in Greece currently appear, however, ultimately, it's difficult to see these proving decisive for the world economy.''  

For now, even within China, economists find it tough to draw a link between its retail-driven stock market swings and the economy. A recent survey by Bloomberg shows analysts split on whether a rout would have any decisive effect on growth. 

One thing to note: With China opening its capital borders, roller-coaster rides on its stock market will have increasing repercussions for investors from London to New York and Tokyo. But that's farther out in the future than the more immediate concerns in Greece. 

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