Trump might impact Chinese economy, but not necessarily badly: analysts
Analysts cautioned that Trump's win might be a precursor for turbulence in China-US economic and trade relations and create some headwinds for the Chinese economy, given his tough stance on trade with China on the campaign trail.
Others argued that the overall direction for one of the largest and most consequential bilateral trade relationships will remain unchanged, and a Trump presidency might not be as negative as many have suggested, noting that the rhetoric might help ease the pressure on yuan depreciation and capital outflows and help with ongoing efforts to upgrade China's industrial sectors.
As votes were being counted in the US on Wednesday, Chinese stocks went through ups and downs during the day, seeing the largest drop of 1.6 percent at one point. But the market later regained ground and closed only slightly lower than the previous day. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.62 percent, while the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index was down 0.61 percent.
By contrast, in the US, stock market futures trading were suspended after plunging the daily limit of 5 percent. Japan's Nikkei was down about 5 percent, and Australia's S&P/ASX200 closed 1.9 percent.
Trump's win also sent waves in the foreign exchange and commodities markets, with the US dollar falling 3.6 percent against the Japanese yen and climbing 11 percent against the Mexican peso. But spot trading of the yuan was up a slight 0.18 percent against the dollar.
"The Chinese markets remained calm because they are relatively independent and depend mostly on the performance of the domestic economy," said Xu Gao, chief economist at China Everbright Securities Co.
But a Trump win could pose some unprecedented challenges to China, especially in trade negotiations, Chen Lijian, an assistant professor at the University of Dayton in Ohio, wrote in a note to the Global Times.
"China will face unprecedented challenges in terms of economic and trade ties [with the US]," Chen wrote.
Trump believes that China heavily depends on the US market, pricing for global commodities is in the hands of the US and Europe economies, and Chinese food and goods and materials supplies are also dependent on the US, Xu said. "Trump is very slippery, he will take all measures to capitalize on such advantages," said Xu.
Trade deals with the US would be tough to move forward, and the ongoing talks on a China-US Bilateral Investment Treaty would face tough obstacles, analysts said.
"But in the long-run, the China-US trade ties won't see substantial changes because of potential consequences on both economies," said Liu Xuezhi, a senior analyst at Bank of Communications.
Analysts also said Trump would not be able to follow through on his "ridiculous" claims such as imposing a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports and stop or renegotiate all trade deals. "If his goal is to bring jobs back to the US, his first and foremost job is not to be tough on others, but to improve the US economy and industries first," Xu said.
Raising tariffs on Chinese goods will hurt not only the Chinese economy but also the US and others because the value chain in manufacturing is so intertwined, analysts said.
In fact, Trump's rhetoric on Chinese manufacturing might become a source of motivation for domestic industries to improve efficiency and upgrade capacity, Liu said, noting the Chinese manufacturing sector is facing pressure not just from the US, but more so from other countries in Southeast Asia.
"And Trump's win might help ease pressure on the yuan exchange rate and capital outflows. Trump's tough rhetoric might end the yuan's depreciation and help stabilize the currency, and with a stable yuan, this will further relieve pressure on capital outflows, because such outflows were based on the expectation of the yuan's further devaluation," Xu said.
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