Bitcoin Unphased by China's Stimulus Plan

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index and the CSI 300 both responded to Beijing's plan to reboot China's domestic stock market, but bitcoin remains in the red.

AccessTimeIconJan 23, 2024 at 6:21 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 26, 2024 at 2:49 p.m. UTC

Authorities in China are considering a 2 trillion RMB ($278 billion) plan to reboot the ailing stock market, but the impact of the plan – which pushed markets in Hong Kong and the mainland into the black – doesn’t seem to have trickled down into the price of bitcoin (BTC).

At the time of writing, bitcoin was down 2.3%, sputtering below $40,000, according to CoinDesk indices data, and the CoinDesk 20 Index (CD20) is down 2.5% by mid-day Hong Kong time.

Bloomberg said that Beijing is planning to use state-owned enterprises’ offshore accounts and local funds to invest in onshore shares through the Hong Kong exchange link and other yet-to-be-announced measures.

Local stock market indices responded positively to the news, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index up 2% and the CSI 300, an index of mainland China shares, up 0.15%. The Hang Seng index is down 31% over the past year, while the CSI is down 23%.

This reported method of injecting offshore funds into the mainland stock market aims to boost liquidity and confidence. Bloomberg also reported that additional, yet-to-be-detailed support measures ranging from regulatory changes to financial interventions pending top leadership approval.

Recently, Chinese Premier Li Qiang emphasized the need to establish more forceful measures to reboot the economy.

Bitcoin, for its part, is seeing its market dynamics being more affected by inflow into exchange-traded funds (ETF) products and record outflow from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), CoinDesk previously reported.

In addition, some analysts think that measures by the People’s Bank of China to support the yuan amid a stock market slide and increased dollar strength could negatively impact bitcoin’s price due to its inverse correlation with the USD.

“China is incentivized to keep a lid on BTC to maintain a relative veil of currency stability and discourage capital flight. Past episodes when the Yuan has come under pressure have coincided with BTC underperformance,” David Brickell, head of international distribution at Toronto-based crypto platform FRNT Financial, previously told CoinDesk in an interview.

However, some market observers have a more optimistic take.

“The rebound of the Chinese economy will have profound implications for the global economy, and any stimulus or accommodative policy will be an encouraging sign to investors. The crypto market will also perceive such policies as risk-on and, therefore, be more willing to innovate and active in market expansion," said Greta Yuan, Head of Research at VDX, a Hong Kong digital assets platform, in a note.

Meanwhile, India has surpassed Hong Kong as the world’s fourth-largest stock market as corporate earnings remain strong in the country.

CORRECTION (March 26, 2024, 14:48 UTC): Adjusts the description of VDX to reflect that it is not a licensed exchange.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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