April, 2011 (Chinavestor) March of 2011 was anything but a usual month. Not only did earnings roll in the fast lane but investors had to digest critical economic news from the U.S., China and Europe as well. On top of that agenda, events in the Middle East and in Japan added to the mix.
These latter two added to the price increase of oil not seen since 2008, hurting growth prospects for developed and emerging economies as well. Problems with the common currency of Europe continued to resurface with Portugal and Ireland in focus for the month.
The big mover for western investors for the month was U.S. economic, housing and job reports in this order. While many have a somewhat different spin on the numbers, the majority of investors see the glass half full rather than empty. The housing sector is not out of the woods yet, one of the sourest points of the U.S. economic recovery. But GDP growth has been promising with sound two months jobs creation on top of that. March saw the second month of over 200,000 jobs creation after February, a hopeful sign that GDP growth finally is trickling down to this critical element of sustainable economic growth. News sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) to a level not seen since June 2008, surpassing the Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001) and the Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI) for the year.
Stocks mentioned in this Newsletter include China Life Insurance Co. (NYSE:LFC), China Eastern Airline (NYSE:CEA), China Southern Airlines (NYSE:ZNH) from the large cap NYSE listed China stock universe. ETFs are iShares FTSE/Xinhua 25 China Index (NYSE:FXI) and the Morgan Stanley China A Share Fund (NYSE:CAF). Smaller NYSE names include Mindray Medical (NYSE:MR) and Duoyuan Printing (NYSE:DYP). Selected auto stocks are China XD Plastics (NASDAQ:CXDC), Wonder Auto Tech (NASDAQ:WATG) and China Automotive Systems (NASDAQ:CAAS).