Chinese stocks dive as credit crunch fears escalate
The Shanghai Composite index fell as much as 5.3% below the 1,900 mark, before recovering to trade 2.4% lower at 1,916.
This is the first time the index has fallen below the 1,900 mark since January 2009 and it is now down 14.5% year to date.
Last week, rating agency Fitch Ratings warned China may be nearing a credit crunch as its shadow banking system is spiraling out of control.
Concerns deepened this week, as China’s central bank indicated it is likely to continue its credit-tightening policy, stemming the flow of cheap money into the global economy.
Other Asian markets were dragged down by their neighbour. The Nikkei declined by 0.7%, Korea’s Kospi was down 1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng erased earlier gains to finish fairly flat at 19,845.
The news from China was a also a drag on commodities as markets reacted to fears of weaker Chinese demand, with copper hovering near a three-year low.
Miners in the FTSE 100 suffered a ripple effect from weak Chinese data, with Rio Tinto and Royal Dutch Shell among the bottom performers of the index on Monday.