Tags: World | Markets

Chinese Shares Tumble on Slowdown Worries

Wednesday, 28 March 2012 08:40 AM

Chinese shares led Asian markets lower Wednesday as investors fretted over the outlook world's second-largest economy and whether the U.S. economic recovery was losing its shine.

Mainland Chinese shares saw their biggest loss in almost four months following a run of disappointing U.S. economic figures, with investors worrying that weak U.S. consumer demand could add to the contraction already being experienced by Chinese manufacturers.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slid 2.7 percent to 2,284.88 while the Shenzhen Composite Index dived 4.1 percent to 909.58

"Concerns about a slowdown in the Chinese economy are continuing to depress the Shanghai Composite," said Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital.

U.S. economic indicators have mostly surpassed expectations this year, particularly with regard to the jobs market, and that has supported stocks. An easing in Europe's debt crisis has also helped, though many investors remained skeptical of claims — as made by Italian Premier Mario Monti this week — that the crisis was almost over.

In recent days, the economic newsflow out of the U.S. has been fairly disappointing. The Conference Board said Tuesday its index of U.S. consumer confidence slipped in March and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Virginia reported that a measure of regional manufacturing plunged this month.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.7 percent to close at 10,182.57, a day after the benchmark shot to a one-year high. Hong Kong's Hang Seng ceded 0.8 percent to 20,885.42 and South Korea's Kospi shed 0.4 percent to 2,031.74.

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Wednesday, 28 March 2012 08:40 AM
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