Asian stocks fall

HONG KONG, Rabi’I 27, 1437, January 07, 2016, SPA — Chinese stocks nosedived on Thursday, triggering the second daylong trading halt of the week and sending share markets, currencies and oil prices lower as investor jitters rippled across Asia, AP reported.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 7.3 percent to 3,115.89 before new “circuit breakers” suspended trading for the day. The smaller Shenzhen Composite Index slumped 8.3 percent to 1,955.88.
Government measures introduced last year to prop up share prices after a meltdown in June are being gradually withdrawn while investors are also unnerved by possible signs China’s economy is in worse condition than thought.
The Shanghai benchmark has dropped 12 percent so far this year, which is barely a week old. Thursday’s market plunge may have been exacerbated by investors rushing to sell before they were locked out, some analysts said.
Among other Asian stock markets, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 2.3 percent to 17,771.97 and South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.9 percent to 1,907.32.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 2.8 percent to 20,401.54 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 retreated 2.2 percent to 5,010.30.
Benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia also fell.
Oil prices touched their lowest in more than a decade. Benchmark U.S. crude futures fell 85 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $33.10, the lowest price since January 2004, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract on Thursday dropped $2, or 5.6 percent, to settle at $33.97 a barrel. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell $1.14, or 3.3 percent, to $33.09 a barrel in London.
In currency markets, the dollar fell to 117.95 yen from 118.67 yen in the previous day’s trading as investors bought the yen as a safe haven.
Some other Asian currencies retreated in concert with the yuan. The dollar gained 0.1 percent against the South Korean won and rose 0.3 percent against India’s rupee. The Australian dollar fell 0.6 percent.
euro to $1.0825 from $1.0778.
12:18 LOCAL TIME 09:18 GMT