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China will be in the money this year: Expert

Investors can expect a year of gains for Chinese equities, Donald Straszheim of Evercore ISI said Tuesday.

"They've got plenty of tools at their disposal, one of which is to continue to buy selected securities as they so choose," firm's head of China research told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "This is going to be an up year for China's equity markets. Last year, it was a big disappointment; a roller coaster."

"The data has gone from all bad to mixed, they've got a lot monetary stimulus, a lot of fiscal stimulus as well; they've weakened the currency to lift the economy. I think equity interest is going to return, and I think it's going to be an up year."

Chinese stocks began the year on the wrong foot. The benchmark Shanghai composite tumbled 6.86 percent Monday, dragging down global markets as well. On Tuesday, the index fell 0.26 percent, but only after the People's Bank of China injected $20 billion as a stabilizing measure.

"I think the first priority right now is to calm the market," Straszheim said. "CSCI put out an announcement that said 'we are going to review and, in our due time, we will change these rules on the insider selling ban.' "

Still, concerns over China — as well as a worldwide oil glut and economic growth worries — continued to weigh on U.S. equities.

"I think we're going to have a bit of a bumpy road today. We're watching oil very closely; it looks like that's back in the catbird seat," Art Cashin, UBS director of floor operations, said Tuesday in another "Squawk on the Street" interview.

Crude prices traded sharply lower Tuesday, as investors shrugged off tensions in the Middle East.

The Dow Jones industrial average briefly tumbled 100 points, while the S&P 500 index tried to hold above 2,000, a psychologically important level.

"I think U.S. equities, in particular, are really critical. They influence confidence. We can't see a large correction, but I think it's to be expected that we see some deflation in asset prices as the Fed is tightening monetary policy and against this backdrop of slower global growth. The question is really how quickly does this occur?" Laura Rosner, U.S. economist at BNP Paribas, said Tuesday in another "Squawk on the Street" interview.

The Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the minutes from its December meeting, when it raised interest rates for the first time in about a decade.