Asian shares tumble as global stocks rout deepens
Asian shares slumped on Friday, plunging deeper into the red after weak manufacturing data from mainland China fueled panic among investors over the clouding outlook for the world economy.
Shanghai shares closed down 4.27 percent, or 156.55 points, at 3,507.74, ending their worst week since 2011 as worries over the flagging economy and the possibility of weaker government support weighed.
China’s benchmark i ndex closed at almost exactly the same level as the bottom of a recent market rout on July 8, before Beijing stepped in with a vast rescue package for equities.
Hong Kong fell 1.53 percent, or 347.85 points, to finish the day at 22,409.62 — its lowest point since May 2014 — taking it into a bear market after a more than 20 percent slump from its April peak.
Tokyo shares fell 2.98 percent, or 597.69 points, to finish at 19,435.83, a more than threemonth low and down 5.28 percent on the week.
Seoul fell 2.01 percent, or 38.48 points, to 1,876.07 as tensions climbed with North Korea, and Sydney dropped 1.40 percent, or 73.98 points, to close at 5,214.60.
Asia got a negative lead from Wall Street after U.S. shares sank more than 2.0 percent Thursday, with the Dow dropping to its lowest level for 2015.
Gold gained as i nvestors looked for safer bets, rising to US$1,154.45 in Asia compared to US$1,138.80 late Thursday.
European Stocks Slump
European stock markets fell on Thursday, weighed down by concerns over the health of China’s economy and sliding oil prices.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index closed down 0.56 percent compared with Wednesday’s close at 6,367.89 points.
In the eurozone, the CAC-40 in Paris sank 2.06 percent to end the day at 4,783.55 points, while Frankfurt’s DAX 30 dropped 2.34 percent to finish at 10,432.19 points.
New Greek Elections?
Greece on Thursday cleared a 3.4 billion euro (US$3.79 billion) payment owed to the European Central Bank, a source close to the matter said.
That effectively ended the bitter feud dividing the Greece’s radical-left government and its European creditors that had threatened to force the country out of the euro and sow chaos in the global economy.
Athens’ main stocks index sank 3.52 percent to close at 651.56 points, with deepening political rifts in Athens piling pressure on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Later Thursday after the markets closed, the ANA news agency reported, citing government sources, that Tsipras has proposed calling an early election on Sept. 20. In other markets: — Malaysia’s key stock index ended Friday 0.17 percent lower, or 2.74 points, at 1,574.67.
Petronas Gas slipped 0.1 percent to 20.88 ringgit, while Telekom Malaysia rose 0.64 percent to 6.27 ringgit. State electric power utility Tenaga gained 1.92 percent to 10.60 ringgit.
— Singapore closed 1.29 per- cent, or 38.77 points, lower at 2,971.01.
Casino operator Genting Singapore tumbled 1.24 percent to close at SG$ 0.80 and telecom giant Singtel fell 0.77 percent to SG$3.94.
— Jakarta ended down 2.39 percent, or 105.96 points, at 4,335.95.
Investment company Polaris Investama gained 2.73 percent to 1,505 rupiah, while construction company Pembangunan Perumahan fell 7.75 percent to 3.450 rupiah.
— Mumbai fell 0.88 percent, or 241.75 points, to close at 27,366.07.
Hindalco Industries rose 1.24 percent to 86.05 rupees but natural resources firm Vedanta slid 3.81 percent to 94.75 rupees.
— Bangkok fell 0.50 percent, or 6.92 points, to 1,365.61.
Airports of Thailand dropped 1.12 percent to 265.00 baht while Bumrungrad Hospital climbed 2.22 percent to 230.00 baht.
— Wellington rose 0.13 percent, or 7.71 points, to 5,751.19.
Telecoms giant Spark New Zealand gained 9.42 percent to NZ$ 3.02 after they increased shareholder dividends. Fletcher Building was down 1.57 percent at NZ$7.53.
Financial markets in Manila are closed for a public holiday.