Analysts bullish on good start for mainland stocks

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 February, 2009, 12:00am

Mainland shares could open trade in the Year of the Ox today on a bullish note as a result of further stimulus measures taken around the world during the Lunar New Year break, said analysts and fund managers.

On the cards was a rebound by the Shanghai Composite Index well above the psychologically important threshold of 2,000 points in the short term, given the positive mood created by the additional measures, they said.

The index closed at 1,990.657 points before the Lunar New Year.

'The mainland stock market has lagged behind other markets due to the holiday factor. Thus I expect it will go up on the first day of the Year of the Ox,' said Ricky Tam Siu-hing, a director at Champlus Asset Management.

Markets around the region rallied last week while the mainland market was shut for the holidays. Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index has risen 700 points in the past two trading days.

Chan Yuk-keung, a fund manager at Philips Asset Management, said value investors were still bullish on the mainland market, given a fair valuation with high potential growth.

'Global investors have recovered their interest in Asia and the China market should be their first priority. The weakening gross domestic product figures may lead them to become more cautious about making huge investments in China in the first half, but I think the scenario will improve in the second half due to the stimulus package,' Mr Chan said.

According to research from market monitor EPFR Global, total inflows to offshore Asian funds continue and reached US$1 billion in the first two weeks of the year, US$344.5 million of which went to the China market.

'In Chinese tradition, most investors want to see a good opening, just like Hong Kong had [last week],' said Patrick Shum, a strategist at Karl Thomson Securities.

But mainland investors may also be hoping that the government will announce additional stimulus measures or disclose more information about last year's 4 trillion yuan (HK$4.54 trillion) plan, and if there was no fresh news supporting the market, sentiment could slump, Mr Shum warned.

The Shanghai Composite Index might trade between 1,800 and 2,000 points in the near term, he added.