CSI300 slumps: Trading on China’s stock market was suspended today after a survey reporting that Chinese manufacturing activity contracted for a 10th consecutive month in December sent the country’s blue-chip CSI300 index tumbling by 7%, its worst performance in nine years. The Shanghai Composite Index
fell 6.86% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 2.7%. Officials subsequently halted trading for the rest of the day, using the ‘circuit breaker’ – introduced last year to curb volatility – for the first time.
“The slump apparently triggered intensified selling, while the triggering of the circuit breaker seems to have heightened panic, as liquidity was suddenly gone and this is something no one has experienced before. It was a stampede,” Guy Yongtao, strategist at Cinda Securities, said.
Investors also dumped stocks ahead of the imminent expiration of a share sales ban on listed companies’ major shareholders, which had been imposed during the market crash last summer.