Shanghai Composite Index Surges as Mainland Markets Reopen


Chinese stocks surged on Thursday, with the Shanghai Composite Index playing catch up with global equities after mainland markets reopened from a week-long National Day Holiday.

The Shanghai Composite Index, China’s benchmark gauge, rose 90.58 point or 3% to 3,143.36. The Shanghai Composite Index last traded on September 30 before the start of the holiday.

With Thursday’s gains, the Shanghai Composite Index is up nearly 7% from its lowest point during the summer. However, the benchmark is still down nearly 40% from its June peak, having declined 25% in the third quarter alone.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed down 0.7% or 160.85 points at 22,354.91.

After gaining for six consecutive days, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 Index fell 181.81 points or 1% to 18,141.17.

European markets also lost traction on Thursday, with Eurozone blue-chip STOXX 50 declining 0.2%. London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.3%. Germany’s DAX posted slight gains, while major averages in Paris and Madrid edged lower.

Wall Street had rebounded on Wednesday after a choppy session, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing 122 points.

In economic data, Japanese machinery orders declined unexpectedly in August, fueling concerns about a protracted slowdown in China.

Machinere orders fell 3.5% annually in August, following a 2.8% increase the previous month, government data showed. A median estimate of economists called for a gain of 4.2%.

The figures came just one day after the German government reported an unexpected decline in industrial production. German factory output fell 1.2% in August after rising 1.2% the previous month.

Waning factory output in advanced industrialized economies is just the latest sign of a slowing global economy. The global economy is forecast to grow just 3.1% in 2015, the slowest rate since the 2009 recession year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said earlier this week in a revised World Economic Outlook report. The 2015 growth rate was revised down 0.2 percentage point from the July estimate.

In commodities, oil prices shot back up on Thursday after weakening in the previous session due to a bigger than expected rise in US commercial crude inventories. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark for US crude advanced 34 cents or 0.7% to $48.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international benchmark, climbed 42 cents or 0.8% on ICE Futures Europe.