Official China paper says investor sentiment has rebounded after stock rout

An investor at a brokerage house in Fuyang on Aug 4.
An investor at a brokerage house in Fuyang on Aug 4. PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Investor confidence in China's stock market improved in July after the government stepped in to halt a share price slide, China's official Shanghai Securities News reported on Wednesday.

The newspaper cited a survey by China Securities Investor Protection Fund Corporation, a state-owned fund set up to protect the rights of securities investors, which said investor confidence in the stock market rose in July to 59.6, up 1.9 per cent from June.

The index is measured on a scale of 1 to 100, where a level above 50 signifies confidence.

Since China's stock markets started crashing in mid-June, Beijing has rolled out an unprecedented series of support measures, including cajoling brokerages and pension funds to buy stocks, cracking down on short-selling and negative reports about the market and encouraging media to write reports that "stabilise the market".

That follows past practice, in which Chinese regulators were routinely quoted in state media talking up the market, even going so far as to highlight buying opportunities in certain sectors.

Such commentaries were common in recent years when Chinese stock markets were among the world's worst performing, but added to perceptions in the most recent rally that Beijing was prepared to let the market run-up for some time, which drew in even more speculators.

China's main indexes have tumbled about 25 per cent since mid-June. While they have clawed back some ground from early July lows, analysts said shares remain vulnerable to sharp daily corrections and warn that many investors who were badly burnt by the slide will not return any time soon.

The July result shows the 14th consecutive month of positive sentiment, the paper said.

The survey also showed that the number of investors who have confident in the future of the stock market has increased, while buying sentiment has improved.

The survey polls 1,295 investors and 186 institutional investors and had 1405 responses as at July 27, the paper said.