Asian stocks down on China worries

<p>The Shanghai Composite Index closed 3.4 per cent down.</p>

Asian shares slid today (August 20th) after another sell-off in China, amid speculations over an interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve.

The Shanghai Composite Index closed 3.4 per cent down to 3665.58 as investors sold Chinese stocks fearing that the Chinese yuan may fall further.

According to IG market analyst Angus Nicholson, the China Securities Finance Corporation (CSFC) continued to buy stocks today thereby helping the key stock index to claw back some losses during late-morning trade. 

"However, going by the downward lurch in the afternoon trading session, they didn't seem enough to shore up investor confidence," he added.

Markets in the region also reacted to minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting showing that conditions for a rate increase are "approaching". However, policy makers also expressed concerns about recent drops in commodity prices and said inflation is still too low to justify an interest rate increase. 

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.9 per cent to 20,033.52 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng tumbled 1.7 per cent to 22,757.47. South Korea's Kospi was down 1.3 per cent to 1,914.55 and Australia's S&P ASX/200 dropped 1.7 per cent to 5,288.60.

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