Giant on the move
It's becoming increasingly common to blame Chinese stocks for recent volatility in global markets.
In some places, numbers do back up why China and other markets are increasingly moving in tandem.
According to Brown Brothers Harriman, the correlation based on percentage change between Shanghai stocks and the S&P 500 index has risen to 18 percent in the last three months. This compares with year-to-date correlation of 9 percent and 4.5 percent in the past two years.
The correlation between the front month copper futures and the Shanghai composite has risen to above 30 percent in the past three months from 27.4 percent since January and 16.5 percent over the past two years.
China has long said that its biggest contribution to a world racked by financial turmoil would be to ensure that its own economy grows strongly, implying that a rising Chinese tide will lift all boats. The latest data show that Beijing has delivered on one part of the bargain; its economy, the toast of the world over the past five years, is once again ahead, far ahead, of the pack.
Many investors and companies are confident that the second part of the bargain will follow – that China’s recovery will be just the cure for markets still woozy from the financial battering. Such faith is not yet justified.