Asian stocks stumbled to seven-month lows on Monday, while crude oil prices were pinned near a four-year trough as promising trade numbers out of China failed to cheer a market still worried about faltering global growth. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.8 percent, extending last week’s 1.1 percent drop.
Mainland Chinese stocks skidded 1.1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.7 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index and South Korea’s KOSPI both slipped 0.6 percent. Tokyo’s Nikkei was spared the pain for now thanks to a public holiday in Japan.
The declines in Asian markets came after U.S. stocks skidded 1.2 percent on Friday and Wall Street’s fear gauge, the CBOE Volatility Index, jumped to a near two-year high. Investors have been cutting back on risk assets in earnest with Europe staring at the prospects of a recession, Japan’s economy floundering, China’s expansion slowing and the Federal Reserve on track to end its bond-buying stimulus soon.
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