WUC Action Vertical– “Opportunities”
For more than two decades, China has been well contributing to economic growth and low global inflation. But we witnessed one of the worst dayâ€™s trading in many years- 24th August, 2015. Did it signal the start of a new and alarming phase of the crisis which began some eight years ago? This is the time to discuss, if the world is entering a period like the Asian financial crisis of 1997 or the worldwide slowdown of 2008.
And still, that dayâ€™s losses were not among the worst losses in market history.
Short summary, of what happened that day
On Monday, the stock market posted its largest decline in years, sparking fear that the US is on the verge of another recession. After initially plunging 6.4 percent in a matter of minutes, it recovered some ground and ended the day down 3.6 percent.
- The US stock market suffered its biggest sell-off in four years.
- The S&P 500 and NASDAQ went down 10% on their recent peaks.
- In London, almost Â£74bn was wiped off the value of the FTSE 100 index, in a rout led by mining giants.
- European stock markets suffered their worst days trading since 2011.
- The selloff began in Asia, where Australiaâ€™s market suffered its biggest fall since 2009 and Japanâ€™s Nikkei slumped over 4%.
- But China was the worst hit, with the Shanghai composite index dropping 8.5% in the biggest selloff since 2007.
Message from the Stock Market
- The global debt crisis of 2008 didnâ€™t go awayâ€”rather just moved to China. When American consumers stopped buying stuff after the subprime crisis, China tried to take up the slack, that meant a major run up in debt, and a couple of years ago, that bubble started to burst.
- A slowdown in China is now a much bigger deal than it used to be.
- This isnâ€™t a disaster for the US, but itâ€™s not good. U.S. companies arenâ€™t as exposed to China as many emerging market countries. A fall in Shanghai isnâ€™t going to push the U.S. market back into recession, assuming that USâ€™s recovery continues at the current pace.
- The world is still waiting for a true fix to the financial crisis of 2008.
Root Cause Analysis
In the year leading up to the crash, individual investors continued to invest mass amounts in stocks and inflate the stock market bubble through, thereby, exceeding the economic growth rate and profits of the companies they were investing in. Investors faced margin calls on their stocks and many were forced to sell off shares in droves, precipitating the crash.
By 8â€“9 July 2015, the Shanghai stock market had fallen 30 percent over three weeks as 1,400 companies, or more than half listed, filed for a trading halt in an attempt to prevent further losses. Values of Chinese stock markets continued to drop despite efforts by the government to reduce the fall. After three stable weeks the Shanghai index fell again on 27 July by 8.5 percent, marking the largest fall since 2007. Global companies that relied on the Chinese market suffered from the crash.
On August 24th, the Shanghai main share index lost another 8.49%. As a result, billions of pounds have been lost on international stock markets with some international commentators labelling theÂ day 2015- Black Monday.
There are many reasons why world stocks went down that day, but the dreaded question is- Why central bankers couldnâ€™t prevent such a major crash? How could panic spread so easily and swiftly, from Shanghai and Shenzhen to London and New York?
October 19, 1987, the darkest day in Stock Market history, when the stock market plunged by 22 percent. This huge drop wasnâ€™t followed by a recession, and the market recovered the lost ground within two years. There were big declines in October 1997 and August 1998. Again, these proved not to have any broader significance, as the bull market would continue until 2000.
There were three big drops during the 2000-â€™01 bear market that preceded the recession of the early George W. Bush years. The stock market suffered 11 big drops in the last four months of 2008, during the Great Recession that began in 2007.
In August 2011, the stock market suffered three big declines. So sometimes a big stock market decline is a sign of deeper economic problems. And sometimes, itâ€™s not. So, itâ€™s way too early to say which category Mondayâ€™s crash falls under.
Even when the stock markets are in full correction mode, the reversal is short-lived. In late September, 2014 over the span of three weeks, the NASDAQ and NYSE were both correcting themselves, but both markets rebounded in short order, and filled investors with optimism. But still, the fact is that a large number of important indicators indicate that another stock market crash for US, in 2015, might be on the way.
Since the stock market crashed in 2008, U.S. economic growth has been inconsistent.
Americaâ€™s ability to carry the global economy on its own, off course, is limited, and this is something, Investors should understand. The situation reminds me of John Templeton, who once said, â€œBull markets are born on pessimism, grow on scepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria.â€
Near Future â€“ More Stock Market Crashes?
In 2015, businesses and investors will pay the price for their addiction to artificially low interest rates.
To overcome the recession, in November 2008, the Federal Reserve artificially lowered the short-term lending rate to nearly zero to make banks lend more money to businesses and people. The ultra-low-interest-rate environment made it cheaper to borrow money and as a fuel propelled the stock market higher. But later, raising interest rates by just 50 basis points could have a serious, negative impact on the broader economy and, by extension, the U.S. stock market. Continued economic challenges in the Eurozone and Asia, geopolitical tensions between Russia, Ukraine, and the entire Eurozone; issues between U.S. and Russia; China and U.S; and China and Japan, accompanied by high underemployment, stagnant wages, and high debt will also have a detrimental effect on the U.S. stock market. Yes, itâ€™s going to be tough. These factors will push the U.S. stock market back onto the brink of a stock market crash in 2015.
â€œIn the last few years, this is the fifth or sixth panic condition, China encountered. And still, it was only in 2008-09, China suffered a major economic slow period.â€
â€œCorporate profit and economic growth are rising at a modest rate and no dramatic rise in interest rates. So, bargain hunters will return and buy stocks at lower prices!!â€
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