Asian shares slump on China worries, oil falls
Asian shares slumped on Thursday, led lower by Shanghai as concerns about the health of China’s economy battered confidence and after unexpectedly bearish minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Tokyo closed down 0.94 percent, or 189.11 points, at 20,033.52, as the yen strengthened against the greenback, adding to worries about Japan’s slowing exports.
Sydney fell 1.70 percent, or 91.6 points, to 5,288.6, dragged down by banking and resources shares, while Seoul dipped 1.28 percent, or 24.83 points, to 1,914.55.
Shanghai lost 3.42 percent, or 129.82 points, to end at 3,664.29 while Hong Kong dipped 1.77 percent, or 410.38 points, to end the day at a fresh eight-month low of 22,757.47.
Dealers said markets remained clouded by uncertainties over China’s economy after the shock devaluation of the yuan last week added to fears it is slowing more than thought.
Minutes from the Fed, which met before mainland China’s surprise devaluation of the yuan last week, also highlighted concerns about the global economy and particularly China that have weighed on shares and commodities.
Fears about Asia’s largest economy, which is the world’s top energy importer, and data showing a rise in U.S. petroleum inventories pushed oil to a fresh six-and-a-half year low in New York.
The drop weighed on energy companies in Asia, with Petrochina among one of the major losers in Shanghai, dropping 3.95 percent, while CNOOC lost 2.02 percent.
Safe haven gold got a boost, trading at US$1,138.80 compared to US$1,122.65 late Wednesday.
European Stocks Falter
European stock markets fell Thursday as traders reacted to Chi- na’s economic problems, the outlook for U.S. interest rates, Greek action over its bailout and sliding oil prices.
Greek stocks sank despite Athens paying back a chunk of its latest bailout, as concerns elsewhere dragged down global markets.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 0.49 percent to stand at 6,371.91 points in midday deals.
Frankfurt’s DAX 30 shed 1.17 percent to 10,557.03 points and the CAC-40 in Paris lost 1.14 percent to 4,828.45 compared with Wednesday’s close.
Athens’ main stocks index was down 2.95 percent at 655.36 points, with deepening political rifts in Athens putting pressure on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to call snap elections. In other markets: — Malaysia’s main index fell 0.32 percent, or 5.03 points, to close on 1,577.41.
Telekom Malaysia lost 0.95 percent to 6.23 ringgit, RHB Capital dropped 1.68 percent to 6.42 ringgit while Malayan Banking gained 1.65 percent to 8.60 ringgit.
— Bangkok dropped 0.48 percent, or 6.59 points, to 1,372.53.
Airports of Thailand rose 2.29 percent to 268.00 baht, while oil company PTT 258.00 baht.
— Jakarta ended down 0.94 percent, or 42.33 points, at 4,441.91.
Mining equipment provider United Tractors gained 1.61 percent to 18,900 rupiah, while animal feed manufacturer Charoen Pokphand Indonesia fell 5.48 percent to 1,810 rupiah.
— Singapore closed down 1.03 percent, or 31.47 points, at 3,009.78.
DBS Bank fell 1.23 percent to close at SG$18.48 and oil rig maker Keppel Corp settled at SG$6.96, down 1.83 percent.
— Mumbai fell 1.16 percent, or
fell 5.49 percent to 323.82 points, to 27,607.82.
Pharmaceutical company Lupin soared 5.39 percent to 1892.10 rupees but natural resources firm Vedanta dropped 4 percent to 98.50 rupees.
— Wellington fell 0.15 percent, or 8.83 points, to 5,742.45.
Fletcher Building was 1.80 percent off at NZ$7.65 and Spark New Zealand was down 0.90 percent at NZ$2.76.
— Manila fell 0.90 percent, or 66.75 points, to 7,278.98.
Top-traded Ayala Land Inc. lost 1.85 percent to 37.10 pesos while GT Capital Holdings Inc. plunged 2.02 percent to 1,264 pesos.