Hours After Xi’s Speech, It Looks Like China Is Buying StocksBy
PetroChina, ICBC shares jump in late afternoon trading
Xi’s lengthy speech opened key Communist Party meeting
A last-hour surge by some of China’s biggest companies kept the nation’s benchmark stock index in the green following President Xi Jinping’s landmark speech at a twice-a-decade party gathering.
The Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.3 percent higher, despite almost three stocks falling for each that rose. The gauge reached its session high in the final five minutes of trading as the two largest-weighted members -- Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. and PetroChina Co. -- extended gains to more than 2 percent. Late-afternoon buying in large-cap companies during events of national importance has been a hallmark of suspected government intervention in recent years.
The ChiNext index of mostly small-cap technology firms closed 0.5 percent lower, while the onshore yuan added 0.1 percent against the U.S. dollar and 10-year bond yields held steady near the highest level since late 2014. China’s securities regulator didn’t immediately respond to a fax seeking comment on whether state funds had been active in the stock market.
In a speech that ran for more than three hours on Wednesday, Xi said China would continue opening its doors to foreign businesses, defend against systemic risks, deepen reforms of state-run enterprises and strengthen regulation of the financial sector, as well as better coordinate fiscal and monetary policy.
Efforts to stamp out damaging bouts of speculation in equities in the wake of 2015’s boom and bust have led to the lowest volatility in 25 years.
— With assistance by Amanda Wang