China's most-watched stock index tumbled to a 16-month low Friday as markets across the region swooned in reaction to crude oil spiking above $140 a barrel for the first time.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index sank 153.42 points, or 5.3 percent, to 2,748.43 points, the lowest close since February 9, 2007.
The Shenzhen Composite Index for China's smaller second market closed down 6.02 percent at 795.859 points.
The losses also came after US stocks sank Thursday, with the Dow Jones industrial average declining more than 3 percent to its lowest level in almost two years. Oil prices rose as high as $141.71 in Asian trading, a record.
One Shanghai-based analyst said the benchmark index could fall to between 2,500 and 2,400 points.
China's most-watched stock index tumbled to a 16-month low Friday as markets across the region swooned in reaction to crude oil spiking above $140 a barrel for the first time. [Asianewsphoto]
"Though there seems to be no market-boosting measures released by government these days, we still insist that they won't let the capital market fade away, epecially with the coming of the Olympics," said Zhang Xiuqi, analyst at Guotai Junan Securities.
Institutional investors are becoming disappointed with the authorities for staying hands-off during this year's slide, said Xu Zhiyuan, strategist at Capital Edge Investment and Management in Shanghai. "Investors are selling shares regardless of the loss," he said.
Huaneng Power International Inc. was one of the hardest-hit stocks Friday, falling 9.96 percent. Airlines also suffered from the oil news, with China Eastern Airlines falling 9.7 percent and China Southern Airlines falling 9.47 percent.
Friday's drop followed a quiet day Thursday in China's markets.