Xi Jinping provokes a spectacular sell-off in China’s markets

On october 23rd China’s ruler, Xi Jinping, asked the Central Committee of the Communist Party to endorse him and his team of loyalists to run the country for the next five years. He had no trouble securing their support. But the next day, he had a lot more difficulty with the highly decentralised committee that is the global financial market.

Foreign investors dumped China’s shares and its currency in spectacular fashion. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng stockmarket index, dominated by mainland firms, fell by over 6%. The sell-off was even worse in New York. The Golden Dragon index of Chinese companies listed on the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which includes giants like Alibaba and Baidu, fell at one point by 20%, reaching levels last seen before Mr Xi took power ten years ago. The offshore yuan, which fluctuates more freely than its onshore counterpart, weakened to its lowest value against the dollar since the market began in 2010 (see chart).

Mr Xi’s third term as leader was no surprise. But…

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This article was written by and originally published on www.economist.com