Shanghai index plunges 7 per cent, drags down Asian markets

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - China's Shanghai index has plunged nearly 7 per cent.

The Shanghai Composite Index dived 6.9 per cent to 3,296.66 on Monday, the first trading day of 2016.

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The index was at the lowest level in nearly three months.

The official Xinhua News Agency said China halted trading on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets after shares tumbled.

Poor Chinese manufacturing data and escalating tensions in the Middle East weighed on Asian markets. Oil prices rose.

Japan's Nikkei 225 tumbled more than 3 per cent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated about 3 per cent.



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