“The same story of supply-side reform and consumption has been told for too long, and investors are getting a bit tired of it. That’s why a lot of them decided to cash in on these blue chips earlier this year,” J.P. Morgan’s Zhu added.
The popularity of the China trade is waning. Daily trading in Shanghai has dipped below 200 billion yuan, or $31.7 billion, in recent sessions, compared to over 300 billion yuan in mid-January and a record 1.3 trillion yuan just before the 2015 summer market rout.
Deterring investors from the China trade, Washing and Beijing have been engaged in saber rattling that fueled fears of a potential trade war over higher tariffs. Foreign investors have since reduced holdings of Chinese stocks for a second consecutive month in March to 1.2 trillion yuan, compared to a record 1.28 trillion yuan in January.
“In China, when markets go one way, they tend to go too much in that direction,” Caroline Yu Maurer, Hong Kong-based head of Greater China equities at BNP Paribas Asset Management, told the WSJ. “When people sell, every investor seems to want to get out before the next one.”
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