More listed Chinese companies rushed to halt trading in their shares today as the rout on the Shanghai and Shenzen exchanges continues.
The South China Morning Post reports that 51 per cent of mainland Chinese stocks, representing some US$2.2 trillion in market capitalisation, have asked for voluntary suspensions from trade.
The reason most gave was that they “have some important project in preparation”, according to the SCMP.
Last night some 40% of companies, mainly smaller stocks, were in a trading halt and they were joined by hundreds more today as the market prepared to open. There are now more than 1,400 companies frozen, hoping to avoid having their share prices destroyed in the selloff.
Despite weeks of increasing intervention from Beijing aimed at putting a floor under tumbling equities which are overwhelmingly owned by retail investors, the benchmark Shanghai Composite tumbled again at the open< today/a>, falling more than 6%. A short time ago the index was off 4.1%.
There are signs some the sell-off is spreading to other markets, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng opening 4.5% down and the Nikkei 225 off 1.5% and the ASX in Australia down 1.5% also.