Asian shares and currencies tumbled on Monday on the first day of trading in 2016 after China factory activity contracted and its central bank guided the yuan lower, while oil prices jumped as much as 3 percent on rising tensions in the Middle East.
Leading the losses, mainland Chinese shares .CSI300 fell 7 percent to trigger the “circuit breaker” on the very first day the trading suspension mechanism came into effect.
European shares are also seen opening lower, with financial spreadbetters expecting Germany’s DAX .GDAXI to fall 1.5 percent, France’s CAC 40 .FCHI 0.7 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 .FTSE 0.6 percent.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 2.5 percent, on course to post its biggest loss since Aug. 24 last year.
That came after it had shed nearly 12 percent in 2015 as China’s cooling economy took a toll on its trade-reliant Asian neighbors and global commodity prices.
Adding to worries about China, its central bank fixed the yuan at a 4-1/2-year low on the first day of 2016, while manufacturing surveys showed that any hopes for a recovery in the sector were premature.
The surveys came after an official one published on Friday, which focuses on larger, state-owned firms, showed a fifth month of contraction.
“While some softness in the manufacturing sector was to be expected, having two major indicators pointing towards the same bearish direction is clearly impacting the market,” wrote Gerry Alfonso, director at Shenwen Hongyuan Securities Co. in Shanghai.
China’s benchmark CSI300 share index tumbled 7 percent, prompting the…