(Yicai Global) Feb. 12 -- China's top securities regulator decided to focus on the launch of the country's own crude oil futures market at a routine press conference on Feb. 9, rather than address the elephant in the room, recent falls in A-share markets, which saw the Shanghai index shed 9.6 percent last week.
Trading of crude oil futures on Shanghai Stock Exchange-affiliate, Shanghai International Energy Exchange, will commence on Mar. 26, said Chang Depeng, spokesperson at China Securities Regulatory Commission, without commenting on the recent slump seen on the stock market.
Chang’s press conference lasted around one minute. His decision to neglect issues related to the trading fall was notable as it was a central issue for all reporters packed into the conference hall that day.
The Dow Jones plummeted more than 1,000 points last week, and the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges tumbled again on Feb. 9, posting their biggest weekly fall since the market meltdown in early 2016. Only one in 12 A-share companies posted gains at the end of trading last week, with the overall trading volume standing at around CNY500 billion (USD79.4 billion).
The A-share slump is mainly attributable to the market crash seen in the US, but Chinese investors were still taken aback by the magnitude of share price falls. As has been the case with major market corrections in the past, they expected the CSRC, as the national stock market regulator, to share its opinion about the slump.
The A-share market itself does not have a lot of risks, some market insiders believe. The slump in the Shanghai composite index was primarily driven by the US market crash, as A-shares correlate to and are influenced by the US stock market, said Wu Xiaoqiu, vice president at Renmin University of China, adding that China’s market rally was rather limited in scale, and such a dramatic retreat would not have occurred were it not for the US market meltdown.