Chinese stocks are in freefall again

After being obliterated on Monday, suffering the largest decline since February 2007, China’s share market was hammered yet again on Tuesday.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index closed the session down 7.63% at 2965.149 points, extending its losses from the multi-year peak of 5178.2 struck on June 12 to 42.74%.

It was the first time the index closed below the 3000 point level since December 24 last year.

Combined with Monday’s 8.5% decline, the index has lost 15.06%, the largest two-day decline seen since December 17, 1996.

Over the past 12 months the index gains have dwindled to 33%. At the peak this year, it had risen over 150% over the same period.

The continued selloff came amidst reports from Chinese state-run media outlets that the government may be pulling back its support for the nation’s stock market.

Reflective of the sharp decline in the benchmark index, the CSI 300 and 500 indices closed down 7.1% and 7.49% respectively.

The SSE 50, comprising large-cap stocks listed in Shanghai, was the relative outperformer, falling only 6.96%.

Elsewhere the Shenzhen Composite and Chinext indices, brimming with small-cap stocks, are down by more than 7%.

While the carnage in China continued, the same cannot be said for markets across the region – they finished mostly higher.

Australia’s ASX 200 closed up 2.72% having been down more than 1.60% earlier in the session. At 4.59%, it recorded its largest percentage trading range since October 2011.

It was the largest percentage gain since October 24, 2011, and following the largest percentage decline since January 21, 2009 on Monday.

The TAIEX in Taiwan added 3.58% while the KOSPI in South Korea rose 0.92%.

In late trade stocks in Hong Kong and Singapore are higher by 0.87% and 0.92% respectively.

The Nikkei was the exception to the bullish price action elsewhere in the region, closing the session down 3.96%. Over the past 10 trading sessions the index has fallen 15.27%.

Reflective of the movements in regional stocks, risk-orientated currencies are also finding support.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars have risen by more than 0.3% against their US counterpart and by close to 1% against the yen.

The dollar index is up 0.25% courtesy of a 0.57% fall in the yen and 0.43% decline for the euro.

In commodities front-month WTI futures are up by 1.57% at $38.84 while spot gold is slightly softer, trading at $1155.2 an ounce.

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