Chinese stocks started 2009 in a nosedive that continued through February. Since then, China has been on a tear.
The $6 billion China ETF iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (FXI) was down nearly 27% through March 2. FXI is now up 40% in just the past 5 weeks.
FXI holds the 25 largest and most liquid companies in the China equity market that are available to international investors. Top holdings include China Life, PetroChina and China Mobile.
The Chinese government has been among the most aggressive in actions to stiumulate the economy with a massive $585 billion spending program. Chinese demand for raw materials is showing signs of recovery with imports of crude oil and iron ore hitting new highs. The financial sector is also helping. Chinese banks extended $670 billion of new loans in the first quarter, equaling the amount issued in all of 2008.