Chinese Shares Suffer Worst Day in Five Months as Exports Slump

03/08/19 03:29 AM EST
By Shen Hong 

SHANGHAI--Chinese shares suffered their worst day since October after weak exports data added to renewed concerns about the health of the global economy.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 4.4%, while its smaller Shenzhen counterpart dropped 3.8%, their biggest single-day drops in five months. The technology-focused ChiNext Price Index shed 2.2%, and the dollar strengthened against the yuan in onshore trading.

Chinese exports last month were down 20.7% from a year earlier, official data Friday showed--a much steeper decline than economists had expected. Imports tumbled 5.2%, also a bigger drop than expected.

Plans by the European Central Bank to deploy additional stimulus had helped trigger losses overnight in U.S. and European stocks, since they suggested policy makers had become increasingly concerned about the slowdown across the eurozone.

Elsewhere in the region, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 2% lower, while Korea's Kospi lost 1.3%. U.S. S&P 500 futures were off 0.4%.

Some analysts said another reason investors in China were selling was to lock in gains after the big run-up of recent weeks. Even after Friday's selloff, China's domestic benchmark is up 19% this year.

"We all know that China's economy isn't doing well and so the market's recent rally does look a bit excessive. The weak trade data made some investors refocus on the fundamentals," said Jacky Zhang, an analyst at BOC International.

Write to Shen Hong at hong.shen@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 08, 2019 03:29 ET (08:29 GMT)

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