Friday, 6 May 2016

Stocks mixed, liquidity in China seen feeding commodity bubble

Stocks were mixed on Thursday.

The S&P 500 was little-changed while the STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.3 percent.

Earlier in Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2 percent even though the Caixin China services PMI fell to 51.8 in April from 52.2 in March but the Hang Seng Index fell 0.4 percent.

Andrew Sullivan, managing director at brokerage Haitong International in Hong Kong, said that “it will be a concern that despite a large injection of liquidity [by Chinese authorities], the service sector isn’t booming”.

However, some of that liquidity may be making itself felt in commodity markets. From CNN:

Steel and iron ore prices have buoyed in recent weeks. Other commodities -- including cotton and even eggs -- are also reported to have seen startling surges on Chinese futures exchanges. The moves have prompted some experts to worry that a new bubble is forming...

“Growing regulatory concerns over speculation in commodities are another example of how throwing more credit at China's economy creates more problems than it solves," said Andrew Colquhoun of Fitch Ratings. “Risky and speculative activity intensifies when credit growth is strong, as it currently is."

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