Asian stock markets have swept lower again, with China remaining the epicenter of unease among investors around the globe. The People's Bank guided the yuan currency stronger, thus confusing many market players.
Asian shares tumbled once more on Monday with no end to concerns about the Chinese economy, which was already responsible for sparking a rout across global markets at the start of the new year.
After witnessing some minor relief towards the end of the trading session last Friday, Asian markets were once again in negative territory as investors dumped more equities while oil prices also headed further south.
In early trade, the Shanghai stock index dropped by 2 percent at one point before paring some of the losses. At the end of the session, though, it was down a staggering 5.33 percent.
Hong Kong slumped by 2.3 percent while Sydney shed 1.9 percent and Singapore 2 percent. Tokyo was closed for a public holiday, making liquidity even harder to come by.
More trouble ahead?
"China is certainly slowing on a very gradual path down," Perpetual asset manager Matthew Sherwood said in a statement. "A lot of people are fearing a hard landing is in play."
The poor start on Monday also reflected uncertainty among investors following the People's Bank of China's guiding the yuan sharply stronger.
The move might have calmed concerns about a competitive devaluation of the national currency, but in the end it only added to market confusion over Beijing's ultimate intent.
Heightened tensions on Asian stock exchanges came ahead of fresh China trade data on Wednesday, with analysts expecting further declines in both exports and imports.
hg/bea (dpa, Reuters)