China just lost its ranking as the world’s number two stock market. After a Thursday slump, Chinese equities were worth $6.09 trillion (RMB 41 trillion), according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with $6.17 trillion (RMB 42 trillion) in Japan. The U.S. has the world’s largest stock market at just over $31 trillion (RMB 213 trillion).
China’s stock market overtook Japan’s in late 2014, then soared to an all-time high of more than $10 trillion (RMB 68 trillion) in June 2015. Chinese equities and the nation’s currency have taken a beating this year amid a trade spat with the U.S., a government-led campaign to cut debt and a slowing economy." Losing the ranking to Japan is the damage caused by the trade war," said Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment Corp. in Hong Kong. "The Japan equity gauge is relatively more stable around the current level but China’s market cap has slumped from its peak this year."
The Shanghai Composite Index has lost more than 16 percent in 2018 to be among the world’s worst performers, while the yuan has fallen 5.3 percent against the dollar. "The market will likely continue to hover at low levels for the next couple of months," said Linus Yip, Hong Kong-based strategist with First Shanghai Securities Ltd. "But there’s still a chance that China’s stock market will recover with total capitalization ascending to the world’s No. 2 place again. After all, the economic fundamentals are still stable and growth momentum will resume after a short-term downturn.