China share markets fell yesterday as investors dumped stocks across the board after the top securities regulator vowed to “brandish the sword” and combat market misbehavior.
The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.2 percent to 3,479 points while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7 percent to 3,222.
Main sectors fell broadly led by real estate stocks, as bellwethers China Fortune Land and Risesun Real Estate dived the maximum allowed 10 percent.
More than 100 stocks slumped by the 10 percent downside limit – a rare occurrence.
Liu Shiyu, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, had over the weekend urged exchanges “to resolutely combat behavior that disturbs market order and in no way be lenient” in waving the sword.
“Liu’s harsh words extinguished interest in ‘concept’ stocks,” said Hengtai Futures analyst Chang Chengwei.
Chang, who brushed aside North Korea tensions as a factor affecting China shares, also attributed bearish sentiment to worries about renewed slowdown as the cycle of “stock replenishing” by companies comes to an end.
The market has also been hurt by growing worries that China’s economic recovery – and thus the “reflation trade”- is ending despite data showing the economy grew 6.9 percent in the first quarter. That was better than expected and the highest since July-September 2015.
Japanese stocks eked out small gains in thin and choppy trade yesterday, with retail investors hunting for small to mid- cap stocks in the absence of foreign investors due to the Easter holiday.
The Nikkei 225 share average opened lower and moved closer to near five-month lows in the morning, after the US dollar fell on tensions over North Korea, hurting such exporters as automakers on worries a strong yen will eat into earnings. But the sell-off ended later in the session, with investors buying stocks sensitive to domestic demand.
The Nikkei ended 0.1 percent higher at 18,355 after falling to as low as 18,224.