Asian stocks lower as China markets tumble

<p>China’s industrial profits declined 0.3 per cent year-on-year in June.</p>

Asian stock markets were down today (July 27th) after official data showed China's industrial profits declined 0.3 per cent year-on-year in June, compared with a 0.6 per cent rise in May and 2.6 per cent gain in April.

This data comes after the preliminary China Caixin purchasing managers index (PMI), a manufacturing index based on a survey of factory purchasing managers, surprised markets by dropping to a 15-month low in July.

China stocks suffered their sharpest daily percentage decline since 2007, with the Shanghai Composite Index ending down 8.5 per cent at 3725.56.

Investors sold commodities such as oil, iron ore, copper and gold in anticipation for sluggish demand for such resources.

Investors were also concerned by the likelihood of an imminent interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve, ahead of a policy meeting later this week.

Japan's Nikkei 225 slid 0.9 per cent to 20,350.10, South Korea's Kospi edged down 0.3 per cent to 2,040.29 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng tumbled 3.1 per cent to 24,351.96. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.4 per cent to 5,589.89.

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