China stocks slump in gloomy start to 2016
SHANGHAI Jan 4 (Reuters) - China stocks slumped more than 3 percent on the first day of trading in 2016 after weak factory activity surveys soured hopes that the world's second-largest economy will enter the new year on better footing.
Investors also dumped holdings ahead of the imminent expiration of a share sales ban on listed companies' major shareholders, which had been imposed during the market crash last summer.
The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 3.3 percent to 3,606.93 points by 0248 GMT, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 3.2 percent to 3,424.92 points. Both had tumbled more than 4 percent at one point.
A 5 percent rise or fall in the CSI300 would trigger China's circuit breaker mechanism, which took effect on Monday.
A private survey showed China's factory activity contracted for the 10th straight month in December, and at a sharper pace than in November. An official survey on Friday, which focuses on larger, state-owned firms, showed a fifth month of contraction, though a pick-up in the services sector could cushion the impact on the broader economy.
"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.
Investors also fear a glut of equity supply could swamp Chinese markets this year, with a six-month share sales ban imposed on listed companies' major shareholders due to expire on Jan 8.
A new set of rules for initial public offerings also to take effect on Jan. 1, making it easier for companies to list.
"Investors are worried about a flood of share supplies coming to the market," said Shen Zhengyang, analyst at Northeast Securities. Continuación...