Chinese stocks fell to a fresh 33-month low to lead Asian markets further down Tuesday, with losses spread across sectors in thin trading and tight liquidity conditions.
The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.1% to 2,166.21, a level it hasn’t seen since March 2009. The Shenzhen Composite Index fell even more, sliding 2.6% to 853.97. The two indexes are now down 23% and 34%, respectively, with recent losses coming amid worries about the country’s economic growth outlook.
“The core factor in market developments around the final week of the year is money market rates. Tightening of interbank liquidity could put pressure on stock market performance,” UBS China Strategist Li Chen wrote to clients in a report.
The Nikkei Stock Average dropped 0.5% to end at 8,440.56 in Tokyo, with some exporters supported by expectations for a strengthening U.S. economy.
South Korea’s Kospi reversed early gains to fall as much as 2.3% at one point in the thinly traded session. The index recovered to finish 0.8% lower at 1,842.02, while Taiwan’s Taiex fell 0.1% to 7,085.03, after changing direction a few times.
Stock markets in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong remained closed for holidays.
The losses were spread across industries in Shanghai. Jiangxi Copper shed 2.1%, Poly Real Estate Group skidded 3.2% and China Construction Bank fell 0.9%.
Shares of SAIC Motor fell 4.1%, shipping firm China Cosco Holdings dropped 3.4% and Anhui Conch Cement lost 2.4%.