Equities in China finished in bear-market territory on Monday, even as the country's central bank rolled out a bigger-than-expected easing package over the weekend aimed at stabilizing the market.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite opened up almost 1 percent briefly before slipping deeper into negative territory over the course of the day, losing as much as 7.5 percent to hit an intra-day low of 3,875.04. The Shanghai bourse eventually clawed back some lost ground to end down 3.3 percent at a more than two-month low.
Since June 12, the benchmark index has fallen 21.5 percent from a high of 5166.35, breaching the 20 percent threshold that defines a bear market. Analysts attribute the dramatic plunge to a raft of initial public offerings (IPOs) that locked up an estimated 6.7 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) worth of funds, as well as regulatory efforts to rein in excessive levels of leverage.
This sharp correction, accompanied by bouts of extreme volatility, is in stark contrast to the blistering run-up that saw the Shanghai Composite soaring more than 150 percent over the past 12 months.