Asian markets: China on track to enter a bear market as Brent slips
Asian stock markets were lower because of the slump in the Wall Street overnight and declining commodity prices Reuters

The entire clutch of Asian stock markets was trading lower for the day. This was because of a slump on Wall Street overnight and declining commodity prices with crude recently declining to 12-year lows that showed investors' continuing concern over the global economy and the China slowdown.

China's Shanghai Composite Index, which was volatile during the day, was trading down 1.09% at 2,917.52. The index had at one point declined as much as 2.8%, marking lows more than last summer's crash. It is also on track to enter a bear market that is defined as a fall of 20% or more considering its recent high was reached on 22 December 2015. However, from its June peak, China's benchmark index is down 44% and from year-to-date, it is down 7%.

Stephen Ma, head of greater China at BMO Global Asset Management, blaming the yuan for the volatility said, "The [Chinese] currency is causing tension in the whole world. What we're seeing now is the result of a lot of government intervention [from China]", according to The Wall Street Journal.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was at 19,608.96, down 1.63%, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was trading lower by 1.71% at 4,902.10, South Korea's KOSPI was at 1,886.03, down 1.58%, India's CNX Nifty was trading lower by 1/03% at 7,484.30 and Japan's Nikkei 225 was at 16,950.05, down 4.32%.

Among commodities, oil prices, have been on the decline in recent times following supply exceeding demand. During Asian hours, WTI Crude oil was trading higher by 0.23% at $30.55 a barrel, while Brent Crude was down 0.79% at $30.07 a barrel.

While Standard Chartered recently warned that oil prices could slide to $10 a barrel, Fereidun Fesharaki, the Iranian chairman of Facts Global Energy (FGE), opined last week that oil prices could fall to $25 a barrel by March as Iran is expected to begin increasing its oil production soon, following the removal of international sanctions.