Asian Stocks Fall as China Halted After Market Plunge

HONG KONG (AP) -
An investor looks at an electronic screen showing stock information at a brokerage house in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, January 7, 2016. (Stringer/Reuters)
An investor looks at an electronic screen showing stock information at a brokerage house in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. (Stringer/Reuters)

Chinese stocks nosedived on Thursday, triggering the second daylong trading halt of the week and sending other Asian markets sharply lower as investor jitters rippled across the region.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 7.3 percent to 3,115.89 before new “circuit breakers” suspended trading for the day. The smaller Shenzhen Composite Index slumped 8.3 percent to 1,955.88.

Trading was halted only 13 minutes into the morning session. Stocks plunged further after trading resumed 15 minutes later, triggering the daylong trading freeze.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 1.8 percent to 17,867.04 and South Korea’s Kospi lost 1 percent to 1,907.10.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 2.6 percent to 20,439.20 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 retreated 2 percent to 5,023.40.

Benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia also fell.