7 Jan 2016

NZ shares have dose of Chinese jitters

6:07 pm on 7 January 2016

Chinese stocks have been halted for a second day this week after a further yuan devaluation spooked investors, sparking a 7-plus percent sell-off in just half an hour.

Authorities allowed the yuan to weaken by about half a percent against the US dollar, which triggered the sell-off.

Chinese share trading was suspended shortly before 3pm this afternoon, after only 13 minutes of activity.

The key CSI 300 index of Shanghai and Shenzen stocks fell 5 percent, triggering an automatic 15-minute trading halt.

When the market reopened it only took two minutes for the index to fall more than 7 percent, triggering an automatic suspension of trade for the rest of today.

The sudden slump had an immediate effect on Australian markets, with the ASX 200 index down 1.4 percent.

The New Zealand sharemarket was also caught in the market volatility.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 49 points or 0.8 percent lower at 6,213.

-ABC

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