Future problems

Future problems

China has dithered over launching a futures market for many years. But in spite of painstakingly researching the subject (and proceeding with inordinate caution), the timing of its launch probably couldn’t have been worse. The first contracts began trading on April 16, just as the world re-entered a period of (Athens-inspired) volatility. Investors also became skittish about new measures to curb China’s property market. On Monday stocks in Shanghai plunged 5% and, as fund manager Mark Mobius told Bloomberg, the futures could be adding to selling pressure. Local commentators agree that they have accelerated the drop. Exhibit one: at the start of this week, the Shanghai Composite Index had fallen 560 points since April 16, the date the first contract was traded. Exhibit two: on Monday the futures market saw turnover of Rmb184.5 billion which was more than the Rmb149

billion traded on the A-share market that day. In a country justly famed for investors with a speculative nature, futures may have further

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