China Sets the Tone

China has once again set the tone for our Monday market forecast. Roll the videotape:


Chinese traders dumped shares early this morning after a popular magazine rumored that the booming Chinese loan market is cooling off. Caijing magazine guessed that the Chinese loaned about $29 billion in August, a 43% crash from July. While that number isn’t official, traders around the red nation raced for the exits. The Shanghai Composite closed down 6.7%, its worst day in over a year. 16% of the stocks on the Shanghai Composite fell 10%, the daily limit down.

Thus, as we charted above, Chinese stocks are in a textbook bear market. In fact, down 23% since its 2009 peak earlier this month, the Shanghai Composite will be the worst performing major national index in the world for the month of August.

But still up around 50% for the year, is this the time to pile back into China — the great hope of the global market rebound? With the Shanghai Composite still priced 29 times earnings, it’s hard to be too enthusiastic. According to Bloomberg, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index is going for 19 times earnings.