Profit-taking hits China stock market

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Profit-taking by investors in China sent the Shanghai Composite lower by more than 5% in Tuesday trade.

The benchmark index gave up 163.9 points or 5.4% at the close, to end at 2,856.27 points.

That is the biggest one-day percentage fall since August 2009.

Investors went on a profit-taking spree one day after the benchmark index broke past the 3,000 mark for the first time in more than three years.

Shares of Chinese financial and property firms were caught in the selloff.

The profit-taking filtered into neighbouring Hong Kong, where the benchmark Hang Seng index closed lower by 2.3% to 23,485.83 points.

Rest of Asia

Other Asian shares also traded lower on Tuesday, following losses on Wall Street prompted by slumping oil prices and worries about global growth.

In the US the S&P 500 closed down 0.7% - its biggest daily percentage drop since 22 October - weighed down by energy shares.

Brent crude prices sank to a new five-year low, falling to $65.33 - its lowest since September 2009.

In Japan, the Nikkei snapped a seven-day rally and closed down 0.7% to 17,813.38 as the yen strengthened.

The dollar was at 119.99 yen, down from 120.78 yen.

Among the stock movers in Asia, Takata shares jumped in Tokyo trade following reports that Honda's President Takanobu Ito said the automaker would step in to assist the hard-hit auto parts-maker if necessary.

The company, which is involved in a massive airbag recall, saw shares rise as much as 6% before falling back to close up 0.3%.

Meanwhile in Australia the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 closed down 1.7% at 5,321.8 under pressure from resources and energy stocks.

Shares of heavyweight miner BHP Billiton fell more than 4% to their lowest since March 2009.

Investor sentiment was also weighed on by a private survey that showed that business confidence continued to decline in November.

National Australia Bank's survey showed that business conditions also fell in the period with the biggest drops in the finance, property and recreation sectors.

In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index ended down 0.4% at 1,970.95 points.

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