Investors talk about stock prices at a securities brokerage firm in Beijing on Monday. (Photo: China Daily)
China's A-share market will probably continue its recovery in February, amid improved liquidity conditions and brightened investor sentiment, analysts said.
The stock market ended in a bullish mood on Monday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index up 1.36 percent to 2653.90 points, its highest close over more than two months.
The smaller Shenzhen Component Index jumped 3.06 percent to close at 7919.05 points. The ChiN-ext Index, China's Nasdaq-style board of growth enterprises, surged by 3.53 percent to 1316.10 points.
A total of 3,467 A shares went up, while only 79 stocks ended down on Monday, with agricultural companies and liquor makers leading the rise, according to financial information provider Wind Info.
Wang Yi, chief strategy analyst with Shenzhen-based Great Wall Securities, said the strong market performance on the first trading day after the Spring Festival holiday augurs well for the A-share market in February.
"Improvement in liquidity conditions and investors' risk appetite has led to the recent market recovery," Wang said.
"In February, supportive domestic policies and rather favorable external environment will continue to prop up the recovery," Wang said.
For liquidity conditions, Wang expected monetary authorities will probably continue to roll out policies to expand credit and support the real economy.
The supportive macroeconomic policies, in tandem with accelerating capital market reforms that aim to vitalize the market, will also underpin investors' risk appetite, according to Wang.
"External factors will also help, such as US Federal Reserve's patience on future rate increases and signs of mitigating trade conflicts."
Zhang Xia, chief strategy analyst at Shenzhen-based China Merchants Securities, agreed. "The economy still faces downward pressure, but will not be a drag on market recovery in February, which is driven by improved liquidity conditions."
Zhang noted investment opportunities in small and mid-cap stocks in February, especially securities firms, defense-related companies, and companies in the technology, media and telecommunications industry.
In the longer term, Wang said the A-share market will see a notable rebound in 2019.
"We expect the Shanghai Composite Index would peak within the range from 3000 points to 3125 points－or 20 percent to 25 percent above 2500 points, where the index started the year."
"As the stock market uptrend promises returns on investment, it will usher in more investors, especially when the debt markets will probably be choppy this year and the housing markets still face overall strict regulatory restrictions," Wang added.
Qin Peijing, a strategist with Shenzhen-based Citi Securities, had a more prudent attitude. "Without improvement in economic fundamentals, the current broad advances in the stock market may end in mid-March," Qin said in a note.