Hong Kong fell 1.53 per cent, 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 per cent slump from its April peak. The Nikkei 225 index ended day down 0.9% at 20,033.52 points. Seoul’s Kospi shed 1.5 percent to 1,885.78, and Taiwan, Singapore and Jakarta also fell.
On 19 August, the Shanghai Composite had closed up 1.2% after falling more than 5% at one point during a volatile session, leading to speculation that the government had stepped in to stem the rout.
Among the most actively traded stocks on Hong Kong’s main board were CCT Land, unchanged at HK$0.02; Bank of China, down 0.7 percent to HK$4.00 and CCB, down 1.5 percent to HK$6.02.
The People’s Bank of China devalued the currency last week by almost 2pc, triggering an avalanche of selling by investors who feared Beijing wanted to engineer a much sharper decline to support weak exports.
WALL STREET: The U.S. stock market shuffled to a slight loss in a lazy day of summer trading Tuesday.
Minutes from the Fed, which met before 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.
Chinese stocks were hurt by rumors that an expected reform plan for state-owned industry might be less ambitious than investors want, said Guo Yanhong, a market strategist for Founder Securities. Other Asian markets widened losses.
A report Friday showed a private gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly fell to the lowest level in more than six years, suggesting the world’s second-largest economy will need further policy support to stem a deepening slowdown. Relatively few Chinese are invested in the stock market, and the vast majority of Chinese companies still have access to financing.
In Hong Kong, shares in flag carrier Cathay Pacific hit their lowest point since November after its earnings missed estimates, hit by fuel hedging costs.
Upbeat existing home sales and regional manufacturing activity data as well as solid labor market data only served to heighten expectations that the central bank will begin raising interest rates next month. The Fed then appeared on track to raise interest rates later this year but signaled that it wants to see further economic gains and higher inflation before doing so.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 15 cent to $42.47 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The yuan closed up 0.13 per cent at 6.3875 to the dollar on Thursday, after the central bank set a stronger daily reference rate for the currency.
Brent crude oil futures are down 1% in Asia to $46.16 a barrel.
The Japanese yen strengthened to 123.28 per U.S. dollar compared with 123.45 at the close of Asian trade Thursday.