Despite better-than-expected U.S. growth in the second quarter, Wall Street finished a tumultuous week with key indexes mostly unchanged. Meanwhile, Asian markets closed in positive territory for a second day as Beijing snapped up more shares to stabilize Chinese stocks.
But investment analyst Mike Ingram of BGC Partners in New York said China’s problems are far from over.
“They’re backing the stock market in Shanghai, buying up stocks, but some fundamental problems [are still] there, and I would be very surprised if we got to the end of the year without it [economic problems] raising its head once again,” he said.
That’s because persistent doubts remain about just how fast or how slow China’s economy is growing.
Mark Hamrick, Washington bureau chief at Bankrate.com, told VOA via Skype that "one of the real challenges for investors or anyone who’s trying to pay attention to the global economy is we feel like there’s not a tremendously reliable information coming out of China to the extent that it’s not a transparent society.”
That uncertainty has prompted investors to pull out nearly $30 billion in Chinese equities since Monday. Chinese stocks ended the week nearly 8 percent lower. European markets recouped most of their losses for the week, but Ingram said questions remain regarding Europe’s exposure to China.
“External demand, we know, is extremely weak," he said, "and that's largely an emerging markets story. So German exports might well hold up — they’ve got a great deal of pricing power. But, of course, the rest of Europe might not be so lucky.”
In the U.S., the focus is likely to shift toward monetary policy. This week, a Federal Reserve official said the recent market volatility might make the case for an interest rate hike in September less compelling. But analysts say a strong monthly jobs report next week could increase the likelihood of a rate hike as early as mid-September.