Beijing, China (BBN)-Chinese shares finished with steep losses on Monday as jitters continued after last week’s market gyrations.
The Shanghai Composite closed down 5.3 per cent at 3,016.7 points, reports BBC.
In Hong Kong the benchmark Hang Seng index closed down 2.8 per cent at 19,888.5.
Investors are keeping a close eye on movements in the Chinese currency, which is managed by the government.
The guidance rate for the yuan was raised for the second session in a row.
But that failed to reassure investors worried about further weakening in the future.
“Global markets are still in the grips of China fears, and it is uncertain whether the Chinese government can do enough to reassure global investors,” said IG’s Angus Nicholson.
“The open of the Chinese cash market today has looked like a battle ground between state buying and investors still trying to get out, and has done little to ease the sense of fear seen in other Asian equity markets,” he added.
Traders were also unnerved as Hong Kong’s inter-bank lending rate for the offshore yuan (CNH) spiked to a record high.
Analysts said the spike was due to a lack of yuan in the Hong Kong banking system – a situation due possibly to intervention from China’s central bank in an attempt to support its currency.
The Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate (Hibor) tied to the offshore yuan rose 13.4 per cent – the highest mark reached since the benchmark’s inception in 2013.
Weak inflation data from China over the weekend also did little to encourage investor sentiment.
The mainland’s consumer inflation edged up 1.6 per cent in December from a year ago, compared to a 1.5 per cent rise the previous month.
But deflation worries remain in the world’s second largest economy as factory-gate prices continued to fall for the 46th consecutive month, down 5.9 per cent.
Global markets made big losses after Chinese trading was suspended twice last week on dramatic plunges in values that triggered a circuit breaker mechanism, and spurred more volatility.
China suspended the use of that tool on Friday, a move that reassured traders.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 1.2 per cent to 4,932.2 as falling oil prices continued to weigh on the market.
The price of Brent crude oil fell another 750 cents to $32.80 a barrel.
Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto both plunged 4.9 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively on the weakness in the resources sector.
In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index ended down 1.2 per cent to 1,894.73 points.
Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.