World Economy

Asian Shares Slump

Asian Shares SlumpAsian Shares Slump

Asia’s regional benchmark index fell as materials companies led declines and investors awaited monthly US jobs data. China’s stocks swung the most since 2010 as mainland turnover topped $163 billion (one trillion yuan) for the first time.

BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, retreated 1.5 percent in Sydney. Kunlun Energy Co. fell 2.1 percent in Hong Kong after Brent crude extended a four-year low, Bloomberg reported.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell less than 0.1 percent to 140.62 in Hong Kong, on track for a loss of less than 0.1 percent for the week. The Shanghai Composite Index closed 1.3 percent higher after erasing a 3 percent decline to post its best weekly gain since February 2009.

The Shanghai Composite Index swung 165 points in the first 90 minutes of trading. The gauge surged 21 percent over the past month, the most among 93 global equity indexes. The rally, which has coincided with increased leverage and a surprise interest-rate cut, is spurring mainland investors to open share accounts at the fastest pace in three years and sending trading values to record highs.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.7 percent, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland firms listed in the city climbed 1 percent to a nine-month high.

Japan’s Topix index added 0.4 percent as the yen weakened past 120 to the dollar. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.6 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index and South Korea’s Kospi index were both little changed.