A survey by a Chinese state-owned investor protection fund showed that investors may be regaining their confidence in the country's turbulent equity markets. Analysts abroad are less upbeat.
The latest monthly survey by China Securities Investor Protection Funds (SIPF) climbed to 51.3 in September, up 24.2 percentage points from August, underscoring rising optimism among Chinese investors.
China's stock market boom turned to bust four months ago, sending the benchmark Shanghai Composite index tumbling almost 40 percent from its June 12 peak as investors scurried for the exit.
Beijing has since unleashed an array of unprecedented measures including a freeze on initial public offerings (IPOs), direct share purchases by state entities, considerations of a market-wide 'circuit breaker' mechanism and the drafting of new rules for commodity exchanges.
In recent months, authorities have also intensified its market probe on alleged market manipulation, issuing penalties to stock trading platforms, as well as netting a senior official at the securities regulator, journalists and social media users.
The efforts to bolster market confidence seems to be working, according to the survey.
The survey found that 28.2 percent of respondents see the Shanghai Composite on an uptrend in the fourth quarter, while 38.9 percent expect the index to be flat over the final three months of 2015. That compares with 20 percent of investors who predict further losses in equities. The remaining said they were unsure.
Meanwhile, slightly more than half of the respondents polled by SIPF plan to maintain their stock fund allocations, while 12.3 percent of investors plan to increase their allocation to stocks.
In addition, the state-owned fund said on Thursday there was a net inflow of 68.4 billion yuan ($10.78 billion) into Chinese investors' securities accounts last week, breaking five consecutive weeks of outflows. The inflows indicate improving investor sentiment toward Chinese stocks, according to SIPF.
The survey results come on the back of comments from a senior central banker that the country's market correction is "almost over."
Yi Gang, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), told an annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Peru that China's stock market has experienced several rounds of corrections which have had limited direct impact on China's economy, the official China Securities Journal reported on October 12.