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And this will surely end well.
Friday’s nearly 6% plunge on the SHCOMP left some market participants wondering where the plunge protection team was hiding in the final minutes of trading. As FT reports, Beijing’s so-called “national team” now owns 6% of the entire mainland market and as we saw in September, the paper losses on that kind of portfolio can add up quickly when things go south. The question now is whether the PBoC will step back in if we have a few more days like today.
Today we got yet another confirmation that China’s July announcement on its gold holdings merely broke the seal of accumulation when the PBOC reported that its total gold holdings as of October 31 had risen to a record $63.3 billion, up $2.1 billion from $61.2 billion at the end of September, and an increase of 14 tons based on the month-end LBMA gold fix price. This represents the fifth consecutive month in a row in which China has added to its gold.
AsiaPac stocks are opening mixed after the US session gains. Perhaps the biggest news of the evening is, as China’s bankiong regulator has been meeting with foreign banks to express concerns over lack of risk control around non-performing loans. As CBRC said, rather stunningly honest for a government entity, “the current situation is more severe than the time in 2008 during the financial crisis.” With stocks up while commodities (Zinc) limit-down, PBOC injects another CNY50 bn and devalued the Yuan fix for the 2nd day in a row.…
When it comes to manipulating stock markets, there is the Western way in which central banks either directly, or – like in the US – indirectly, thanks to a very close relationship between the NY Fed and the world’s most levered hedge fund Citadel, documented here since 2010 – in which central bank trading desks end up buying index futures or merely use massively-sized orders to spoof the market higher (and very rarely lower), and then there is the Chinese way in which the local plunge protection team named the “National Team”, which has already spent around $300 billion to (ineffectively) halt the bursting of the Chinese stock bubble – buys individual stocks.
– China Increases Gold Holdings By 57% “In One Month” In First Official Update Since 2009 (ZeroHedge, July 17, 2015):
Back in April we wrote that “The Mystery Of China’s Gold Holdings Is Coming To An End” as a result of China willingness to add the Yuan to the IMF’s SDR currency basket which would require the disclosure of China’s gold holding ahead of an IMF meeting on SDR composition which may be held in October.
By way of background, the reason why everyone has been so focused on Chinese official gold holdings is that there has been no official update to the gold inventory of the world’s biggest nation, which have been fixed at 33.89 million oz since April 2009, a little over 1000 tons. In other words, the PBOC’s gold inventory has been “unchanged” for over 6 years which is in stark contrast to the ravenous buying of physical gold China has been engaging in for the past 5 years.
– China “Crosses Rubicon” With Stock Bailout; BofA Says PBoC Risks “Hurting Its Credibility” (ZeroHedge, July 5, 2015):
Earlier today in “Panic: China Central Bank Steps In To Bailout Stocks As Underwater Traders Pray For A Rebound,” we noted (without much surprise) that the PBoC has officially taken the plunge. Late on Sunday, the China Securities Regulatory Commission announced that China’s central bank is set to inject capital into China Securities Finance Corp which will in turn use the funds to help brokerages expand their businesses and reinvigorate stocks. Translation: China’s central bank is now underwriting brokers’ margin lending businesses.
– Meet The Relentless, Mystery Buyer Of Chinese Stocks Even As China’s Economy Grinds To A Crawl (ZeroHedge, March 16, 2015):
Unlike the late summer and early fall of 2014, when the rise in the Chinese stock market could be attributed to the PBOC’s PSL “QE Lite”, the relentless buying leg that started in mid-November has stunned most people, as nobody has been able to figure out just who is responsible for all this buying. Until now. According to Reuters, it is precisely China’s trust firms, with total assets of $2.2 trillion, and who together with Banker Acceptances comrpise the bulk of China’s shadow banking pipeline, are shifting more cash into frothy capital markets and over-the-counter (OTC) instruments instead of loans. In other words, instead of using their vast cash hoard of over $2 trillion to re-lend and stimulate China’s economy, China’s unregulated, shadow banking conduits are now directly buying stocks!
– The Final Nail In China’s Deflationary Coffin: Wages In The 4 Largest Cities Are Now Dropping (ZeroHedge, March 12, 2015):
Remember when during the inflation panic of 2011 we reportted that “Wage Inflation is Rampant In China As More Provinces Plan Minimum Salary Hikes.” and wrote:
By the end of 2010, 30 provincial-level regions had raised the standard for the minimum wage, with an average increase of 22.8 percent year-on-year., Yin Chengji, spokesman for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS), said Tuesday. According to him, 29 provinces have issued the guideline for the minimum wages, and the benchmark line grew about 2 percent. In Shanghai, the local minimum wage was the highest nationwide, totaling 1,120 yuan ($170.2) per month.”
And 2011 will be even worse: “Also, according to a China Business News (CBN) report Tuesday, in 2011, many areas would continue to raise the standard. A Xinhua News Agency report Wednesday revealed that northern Chinese city of Tianjin is considering raising the minimum working wage by 16 percent this year amid rising inflationary pressure and labor shortages.”
Well, kiss all that goodbye. From Shanghai Daily: