Source: Global Times Published: 2019-12-23
China's plan to lower or eliminate import tariffs on a wide range of items, mostly consumer goods, will be a boon to both the Chinese and US stock markets, analysts said on Monday.
The move, which comes as China and the US are on track to sign a phase one deal limiting their trade friction, is positive for listed companies in sectors that stand to benefit from the move - and to companies in general, Li Daxiao, chief economist at Shenzhen-based Yingda Securities, told the Global Times on Monday.
China on Monday announced that duty rates on more than 850 consumer items, from frozen pork and avocados to orange juice and high-technology products, will be reduced or eliminated.
"In addition to companies that engage in exports and food, the benefits will be across-the-board as consumers benefit from lower duty rates amid an at least temporary easing of the trade war," Li said.
Shares in the Chinese mainland edged up on Monday morning after the announcement. The Shanghai market was up 0.05 percent while the Shenzhen market rose 0.04 percent as of 10:09 am (Beijing time).
However, the markets closed below the psychologically important 3,000-point mark, weighed down by pessimism following an announced offloading of technology shares by a state-backed fund from its portfolios.
The flagship Shanghai index shed 1.4 percent while semiconductor stocks were 3.8 percent lower.
China has been systematically reducing its tariff rates in recent years, and the average tariff level has been cut to 7.5 percent from 9.8 percent after rounds of reductions in 2018, according to the government work report in March.
Some experts were inclined to see the latest move as being associated with the China-US trade war.
Yang Delong, chief economist at Shenzhen-based First Seafront Fund Management Co, said the easing of trade tensions between the two countries will be good for both the Chinese and the US economies and stock markets, and exporters' shares in particular.
"It is expected that both sides will further roll back tariffs imposed previously," Yang told the Global Times on Monday.
US stock index futures were slightly higher as of press time on Monday, indicating a positive opening.
However, Dong Shaopeng, an advisor to the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said the news will be a boon to the US market only for the short term.
"The short-term lift will not change the broader trend for a correction as bubbles in the US market are at a high level, with key stock indexes having more than doubled since their post-financial crisis lows," Dong told the Global Times on Monday.
Dong Shaopeng is senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.