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Little sign of gloom on the streets of Shenzhen

Little sign of gloom on the streets of Shenzhen
Commentary: Optimism almost as thick as smog in industrial center

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- Sometimes a trip can give you a fresh perspective, and other times you can get carried away by the local euphoria. But surely a trip to Shenzhen, the uncouth satellite town separated by barbed wire from Hong Kong, is unlikely to invoke a Barton Biggs-like maximum bullish call.

Shenzhen, after all, is best known for knockoff CDs and shops as well as concrete factories. In fact, some long-term Hong Kong residents piously declare never having set foot in the place.
With A-shares down 34.5% this year and 43% from last October, talk of an exodus of factories from the Pearl River Delta to Vietnam and an economy gripped by decade-high inflation, you might expect the gloom to be as thick as the Shenzhen smog. This was the year China was meant to showcase its progress at the Beijing Olympics, and instead we have been treated to images of a great leap backward as monks are beaten in Tibet.

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