Chinese shares recover from early losses

The Shanghai Composite came back from a 4 per cent fall to close 0.2 per cent down at 3,160 points.

According to The BBC, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was lower by 1.2 per cent to 20,937.81 in the afternoon.

On Tuesday, data suggesting China’s manufacturing sector was shrinking at its fastest pace in three years ignited a global market sell-off, resulting in US stocks closing down nearly 3 per cent.

Chinese markets will be closed on Thursday and Friday for a holiday to commemorate the end of World War Two.

Wu Kan, a Shanghai-based fund manager at JK Life Insurance, told AFP that Beijing appeared to have been buying shares over recent days in an effort to support the market.

“But investors have lost confidence… the correction isn’t over yet,” he said.

Mainland Chinese stocks have lost nearly 40 per cent of their value since June, despite attempts by the government and regulators to prop up the market.

Meanwhile, data showing US factory activity fell to a more than two-year low in August added to the already grim sentiment among investors.

The price of US crude oil also fell sharply – down 8 per cent in New York overnight.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed up 0.4 per cent to 18,095.40 after leading the region’s losses in the previous session, down nearly 4 per cent.

Australian shares closed up despite economic growth figures for the second quarter coming in below expectations.

The economy expanded 0.2 per cent from the previous quarter and was up 2 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Economists were expecting quarterly growth of 0.4 per cent while the annual rate was forecast to be up 2.2 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.1 per cent to 5,101.50 points – reversing earlier losses.

In South Korea, shares closed up despite government data showing that exports fell 4.3 per cent in July, while imports rose 0.7 per cent.

That led the current account surplus to fall to $9.5bn (£6.2bn) in seasonally adjusted terms from a record high of $10.7bn in June.

The benchmark Kospi index was higher by 0.05 per cent to 1,915.22.