Chinese stocks seesawed Tuesday as worries lingered over the country’s financial markets and its economic outlook, fueling volatility in other Asian benchmarks.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 reopened after a holiday, falling 2.7 percent to 17,214.87 as the index caught up with losses the previous day on other Asian markets. The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China fluctuated between gains and losses and was 0.7 percent higher at 3,036.84 by midafternoon. Other regional indexes opened higher but reversed course by the afternoon. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.2 percent to 19,838.77. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.2 percent lower to 1,891.25 while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.1 percent to 4,925.10.
CHINA VOLATILITY: Worries about the Beijing’s ability to manage financial markets coupled with deepening fears about a protracted slowdown in the world’s No. 2 economy continue to keep investors on edge after sharp losses over the past week. After losing 5 percent the day before, stocks in Shanghai zigzagged throughout the day as they searched for direction. China’s tightly controlled onshore yuan, which was the source of last week’s market turmoil after authorities guided it sharply lower, was little changed. However, interbank rates spiked for the offshore yuan, which is freely traded in Hong Kong, leading many to believe China’s central bank is intervening in the market in order to foil speculators trying to drive it lower.