BEIJING, China – Asian shares slid down on Tuesday as trading was thin on the last day of the year. But that hasn’t deterred China’s stock market as it’s on track to beat Wall Street’s numbers.
China’s CSI300 was trading at 4,082.56 points by noon on Dec. 31. The country’s bluechip index is up 35.6% from the start of 2019. The Shanghai Composite Index also enjoyed a massive jump. It rose 21.8% this year and is currently trading at 3,038.26 points.
The impressive rally has pushed Chinese indices to the top after languishing at the bottom for most of the year. Wall Street enjoyed its own rally these past two weeks which saw the Dow Jones gaining 22.01% while the S&P 500 rose 28.5%. But that couldn’t hold a candle to China’s performance.
Investors appear to be making up for the damage caused by the US-China trade war. Traders are snapping up technology and consumer stocks and are said to be motivated by China’s stimulus packages and market reforms.
Shanshan Finance’s equity trading head Wu Kan noted the differences in how 2018 and 2019 ended. He said that worried investors dumped stocks towards the end of 2018. But now investors feel more secure as they know what Washington has to offer and the counter-measures Beijing has in place.
However, Wu advised caution and said that signs of overheating are already appearing in several sectors. He’s anticipating some volatility next year.
Other Asian benchmarks aren’t ending the year like China though. Most shares in the region are down due to a mix of thin trading and a somber mood from Wall Street.
The Hang Seng Index closed lower while Sydney’s ASX slipped down by one percent. Stock markets in Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, Seoul, and Tokyo are all closed due to the New Year holiday
Wall Street also had its worst performance in weeks as its rally finally ran out of steam.
Stephen Innes, AxiTrader’s chief market strategist in Asia, said in a note that market volumes are usually light at this time. But he also explained that investors will be more cautious as year-end optimism is being replaced by new year uncertainty.
Investors are also holding back and waiting for vital policy announcements from world leaders. Chinese President Xi Jinping will be addressing his nation on New Year.
Meanwhile, North Korean president Kim Jung Un is slated to make a speech on January 1, a day after his mandated deadline for the US to lift sanctions.