Over night Chinese stocks fell the most since early August. Sovereign bonds led the way lower, extending a monthlong retreat on fears that the government will step up efforts to reduce leverage in the financial system.
The Shanghai Composite was down by as much as 1.7% on Monday before closing down 0.77%. The ChiNext index of smaller stocks closed off 2.12%.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year government note climbed by 8 basis points to 3.93%, near a three-year high.
The drop seems to be a reaction to the end of the Party Congress. Past history and the current consensus belief held that the government would step in at the slightest sign of a market dip during the meeting that set China’s leadership roster for the next five years.
With the end of the meeting, the consensus view has swung to a belief that the government will allow more volatility in the markets. Add that to a belief, and I can’t track down a specific source for this, that economic growth is likely to be weaker in the last part of the year, and you’ve got enough nervousness to produce some selling. The worry may simply be a reflection of the decision during the Congress to abandon the government’s prior goal of doubling GDP by 2021. That decision would seem, China economists and analysts have noted, to leave the government room to let economic growth dip below the levels of the first part of 2017.