Asia shares down on oil and China growth fears – BBC News

Asian shares headed lower on Thursday as concerns about the health of the Chinese economy and plunging oil prices weighed on investors’ confidence.

Recent moves by Beijing to further weaken the yuan ignited fears that the world’s second largest economy is slowing more than expected and could trigger another wave of currency devaluation in the region.

Meanwhile, Brent crude prices hit new 11-year lows on oversupply concerns.

The Nikkei was down 0.2% to 18,154.69.

Investors remained nervous as China’s central bank set a weaker yuan guidance rate for seven consecutive days, pushing offshore yuan to its lowest level since trading began in 2010.

Disappointing manufacturing data on Monday had led the mainland benchmark index to plunge 7%, triggering a global equities sell-off.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index lost 0.4% to 5,104.10 as energy shares weighed on the market.

Shares of Woodside Petroleum were down over 2% as oil prices slid after data showed a surprising build-up of US gasoline stocks, adding to fear of a growing global glut.

Government data that showed Australia recorded its 20th monthly trade deficit in a row on falling commodity prices also dented confidence.

South Korea’s Kospi index was down 0.2% to 1,921.36 points as geopolitical tensions rose after North Korea’s nuclear test on Wednesday.

Source: Asia shares down on oil and China growth fears – BBC News

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