Asian markets fell Wednesday as investor sentiment was weighed down by the concerns that China’s economic slowdown would impair the growth of the global economy.
Chinese Shanghai Composite dropped 0.36 percent or 7.59 points to 2107.64. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.55 percent or 116.07 points to 20821.21. Among the major losers were AIA Group Ltd (1.34 percent) and Sands China Ltd (1.29 percent).
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was down 1.70 percent or 149.07 points to 8620.52. Among the major losers were Kobe Steel Ltd (4.76 percent), Japan Tobacco Inc (4.47 percent) and Ricoh Co Ltd (4.42 percent).
South Korea’s KOSPI Composite Index fell 1.02 percent or 20.22 points to 1958.82. Shares of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd dropped 1.97 percent and those of LG Electronics Inc gained 0.44 percent.
India's BSE Sensex declined 0.49 percent or 92.16 points to 18701.20. Among the major losers were Axis Bank Ltd (1.15 percent), Infosys (1.14 percent) and Tata Motors Ltd (1 percent).
Investors are concerned as the earning season commenced in the U.S. Tuesday with Alcoa Inc announcing its quarterly report. The company, which is the largest U.S. aluminum producer, lowered the global consumption forecast for 2012 to 6 percent down from 7 percent announced in July citing the main reason as the slowdown of China’s economy.
The International Monetary Fund lowered Tuesday China’s growth forecast for 2012 to 7.8 percent, down from 8 percent it announced in July.
There have been fears of a hard landing after data showed in July that China's economy slowed down to 7.6 percent in the second quarter, down from 8.1 percent in the first quarter. Beijing is targeting a growth rate of 7.5 percent this year. In 2011 and 2010, the economy grew 9.2 percent and 10.4 percent respectively.
Last month, China reported that imports dropped 2.6 percent in August compared to that in the same month last year, down from a 4.7 percent rise in July, raising the concern that the country wasn't doing enough to stimulate the economy and avert a slowdown.
Investors feel that there is an urgent need for policymakers in China to promote a steady and robust economic development and guard against the financial risks by keeping money and credit supplies at appropriate levels while being cautious and flexible.