Asian Stocks Decline, Extending 5-Month Low on China Shares Rout

Asian stocks slid, with the regional benchmark index extending a five-month low, amid concern that China equities rout will depress growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.4 percent to 139.13 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo. China’s securities regulator banned major shareholders, corporate executives and directors from selling stakes in listed companies for six months, its latest effort to stem an equities decline that’s erased more than $ 3 trillion of value. It’s a sign of desperation and will fuel fear among investors, said Mark Mobius, executive chairman of the Templeton Emerging Markets Group.

China Shanghai Composite Index sank 5.9 percent to close at a three-month low on Wednesday as another round of government support measures failed to allay concern that investors who borrowed to buy shares will keep unwinding those trades at a record pace. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland shares traded in Hong Kong dropped 6.1 percent while the benchmark Hang Seng Index posted its biggest decline since the global financial crisis.

Chinese inflation data is due Thursday, with sellers locked out of 72 percent of the market amid trading suspensions. The Federal Reserve registered concern over China as early as last month, with meeting minutes signaling potential risks to the U.S. from there and Greece.

Source : Bloomberg

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