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In recent weeks, the value of China’s stock markets has plunged. After a twelve month rise, the value of shares in both of China’s main stock exchanges reached a peak on 12 June 2015, then fell severely, with the Shanghai Composite Index and the Shenzhen Composite Index losing 32 and 40 percent of their value respectively. According to the Washington Post, this wiped out $3 trillion in share value since mid-June, which is “more than the value of France’s entire stock market”. Commentator Timothy Lee observes that shares started to fall after 12 June 2015, the same date as the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) announced draft rules to cap margin lending in response to concerns about an equity bubble. The crash follows a year-long stock market boom, which some commentators have compared to the dot-com bubble of the 1990s. In the twelve months leading up to the crash, the Shanghai Composite saw gains of more than 150 percent. Likewise, in late-May 2015, the Economist reported that the Shenzhen Composite had tripled over the past year.

In recent days, China’s stock markets have shown signs of recovery, amid significant intervention by the Chinese Government to stabilise the markets. Over 9–10 July 2015, the Shanghai Composite saw gains of 10.9 percent—the biggest since 2008—while on 10 July 2015 the Shenzhen Composite also finished up 4.1 percent. These gains have continued into the following week, with the Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Composite finishing up 2.4 and 4.2 percent respectively on 13 July 2015.


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