(Bloomberg) -- Help may be on the way for Chinese equities after a global selloff pushed the nation’s key benchmark into a bear market for the first time since 2018.
Just as the CSI 300 Index extended losses Thursday afternoon to plunge 20% from its February peak, at least seven Chinese mutual funds said they plan to buy their own equity-focused products. In total, that would amount to some 590 million yuan ($92.7 million) of buying.
The timing of announcements was unlikely coincidental. The pledges from fund heavyweights including E-Fund Management Co. and China Universal Asset Management followed a string of state media reports seeking to soothe investors. There is buying opportunity as China’s monetary easing -- in contrast to the Federal Reserve’s upcoming tightening -- will offer support, the reports said.
The developments so far suggest Chinese authorities may be adopting their playbook to alleviate market fears. The nation’s regulators earlier pledged to prevent sharp volatilities in the market. In previous routs, measures to stabilize markets have included buying instructions to financial firms, words of confidence from regulatory chiefs, and eventually, purchasing through state funds.
The CSI 300 Index closed 2% lower on Thursday, among the worst performance across the region’s national indexes. That’s a key setback for the benchmark which was one the few global stock gauges to have avoided entering a bear market so far during the pandemic.
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The stakes for Chinese authorities couldn’t be higher. The nation is set to go into a week-long Lunar New Year break which will overlap with the beginning of the Winter Olympics. While the government may want to keep markets stable in the face of key events, history suggests their efforts do not always bear fruit.
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