The entire clutch of stock markets across Asia was trading in the red for the day. This followed oil prices declining to below $29 a barrel and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashing its 2016 global growth forecast overnight to 3.4% from 3.6%, over worries including the China slowdown, slower growth in emerging markets, declining commodity prices and an increase in interest rates by the US. The organisation felt these would act as a deterrent to global growth.
China's Shanghai Composite Index closed in the green on Tuesday (19 January) despite Beijing reporting a weak gross domestic product (GDP) number of 6.8% in the fourth quarter of 2015, indicating China's slowest growth in 25 years. However, today, the index had slipped into the red and was trading at 2,966.66, down 1.37%.
Some analysts are of the opinion that Beijing could intervene and introduce further economic stimulus, possibly before the Lunar New Year holidays in early February.
Cynthia Kalasopatan from Mizuho Bank said: "Soft growth momentum led to expectations that Chinese authorities will need to implement further policy easing to support the economy. More policy and RRR cuts may be in the pipeline. What's more, targeted fiscal tools may be used as well to spur growth."
In the rest of Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was trading at 18,894.88, down 3.77%; Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was trading lower by 1.28% at 4,840.50; South Korea's KOSPI was at 1,839.11, down 2.67%; India's CNX Nifty was trading lower by 1.56% at 7,319; and Japan's Nikkei225 was at 16,529.48, down 3.04%.
Among commodities, oil prices have been under pressure after international sanctions against Iran were lifted recently, which saw the country's re-entry into the global oil supply market. During Asian trading hours, WTI crude oil was trading lower by 2.85% at $27.65 a barrel, while Brent crude was down 1.77% at $28.25 a barrel.