"China stocks are stuck between two opposing forces. Beijing's deleveraging campaign and the escalating trade dispute are weighing on earnings, but share prices have fallen so far that a major earnings downgrade is already priced in," said Frank Benzimra, head of Asia equity strategy at Société Générale in Hong Kong. "Chinese equities are now a value trade."
Indeed, some bargain hunting has already occurred in recent weeks, led by foreign investors buying into mainland shares through Stock Connect, the trading link connecting bourses in China and Hong Kong.
A glance at the sector composition of the CSI 300 shows why the market impact of trade war may be less headline-driven than investors expect. Banks and other financial institutions, which are not directly affected by tariffs, are weighted most heavily, comprising 46 per cent of the index by market capitalisation.
The next largest sector, at 11.5 per cent, is industrial companies, which are also largely insulated from the impact of US tariffs. Four of the six largest companies in this category are railway-equipment producers that mostly sell within China and export to developing countries. The other two are also domestically focused: China State Construction Engineering and Shanghai International Airport.
Overall, China's stock markets remain dominated, at least in terms of market cap, by state-owned enterprises, which contributed only 10 per cent to China's total exports last year, according to customs data.
"Some retail investors have probably engaged in irrational dumping of shares. A lot of listed companies mostly rely on the domestic market. For them, the impact of the trade war mostly comes from investor sentiment," said Tao Yu, partner and equity investment director at Brilliance Asset, a Beijing-based hedge fund.
"The market is definitely at a relatively low point, so the long-term opportunity for institutional investors right now is pretty good, but there is still uncertainty in the short term," said Mr Tao. "It's always going to be difficult to judge the market's absolute low point."
Though the longer-term impact on the stock market may be limited, some investors fear that, if the conflict continues to escalate, Chinese policymakers may dump US Treasuries and cheapen the renminbi as a form of retaliation.
The relatively small scale of Chinese imports from the US makes this option look more plausible, since Beijing is already running out of imports on which it can impose tariffs on a tit-for-tat basis.
On the currency, however, this risk is mitigated by Beijing's worry about disorderly renminbi depreciation and capital flight. A tumultuous period of renminbi weakness during 2015-16 demonstrated that, once unleashed, market expectations of renminbi depreciation can be difficult to rein in.