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Chinese Indexes Trade Sideways: Is It the Calm Before the Storm?

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Nov. 5 2019, Updated 1:03 p.m. ET

What happened yesterday

Yesterday, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman called for multilateralism in the world. The comment was targeted at President Trump’s decision to open a tariff war with a few countries. China is the biggest victim of the trade war, as it has attracted tariffs on $250 billion worth of exports to the US. Trump has signaled the possibility of tariffs on another $300 billion worth of goods if his meeting with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping fails to deliver. On the other side of the fence, Fed Chair Jerome Powell sent a shock to those dreaming of aggressive rate cuts.

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Chinese indexes

Although the S&P 500 and other American indexes fell sizably yesterday on Powell’s less-dovish tone, China’s key indexes remained sideways today after opening lower and gaining in early trade. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.2%, while the Shenzhen Component ended flat. The CSI300 index lost 0.18%.

ETFs and stocks

Yesterday, major China-focused ETFs were under severe selling pressure. The KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (KWEB) was the biggest loser among them with a 2.61% loss. Alibaba (BABA), one of its components, lost 1.37% on the NYSE yesterday. Alibaba was up 1.57% in pre-market trading at 5:42 AM today. JD.com, which lost 1.42% yesterday on NASDAQ, was up 1.12% in pre-market at the same time.

The iShares China Large-cap ETF (FXI), which lost 1.65% yesterday, was up 1.46% today in pre-market at the same time. The iShares MSCI China ETF (MCHI), which has invested in JD.com and Alibaba, lost 1.59% yesterday.

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