China stocks may be in serious bubble

As market volumes explode, even teenagers are buying

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Some say that when the average “mom-and-pop” retail investors get back into the stock market, it could be time to get out. But what about when even teenagers start buying?

China has entered a new stock frenzy, like something out of America in the Roaring 20s or the dottiest days of the dot-com bubble, with trading volumes continuing to push to new record highs.

On Wednesday, combined trading on the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets hit 1.24 trillion yuan ($198 billion), the seventh straight session in which turnover surpassed the 1 trillion yuan mark. By comparison, the New York Stock Exchange typically saw $40 billion-$50 billion a day in trading during the first two months of this year.

The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, +2.59%  is hovering near its seven-year closing high of 3,691, hit on Tuesday when the index completed a 10-session winning streak.

For the year so far, the benchmark is up 13.8%, making it the best-performing major East Asian stock index of 2015 to date, though it still has a way to go to match 2014’s 53% surge.

The lure of flush times on the Shanghai market is sweeping in unlikely investors by the hundreds of thousands. This week, both the China Securities Daily and the Beijing Morning Post had dueling reports about recent college graduates and, yes, teenagers buying shares.

“Risk-Love (equity sentiment) in China’s equity market is in euphoria territory. It is time to book some profits.”

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

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Source: Market Watch by Laura He 24 March 2015

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