With the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) losing over 2% on Thursday after trading was suspended on the Chinese equity market after it sank 7%, ASX investors should brace themselves for another tough year in 2016.

With plenty of macro events for investors to worry about it could be worthwhile turning your attention to defensive businesses that have the ability to continue to maintain earnings even in the face of headwinds.

Asaleo Care Ltd (ASX: AHY) owns and manufactures a range of branded personal care and hygiene products – well-known brands include Sorbent and Libra.

Given the “everyday” nature of these products and the high brand recognition and customer loyalty, Asaleo should in turn have a reliable level of revenues. According to one analyst consensus, earnings per share (EPS) should increase by around one cent to 14 cents per share (cps) in the current financial year. With the share price trading around $1.50, this implies a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.7x.

Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) operates a diversified portfolio of toll road assets including the CityLink in Melbourne and the Westlink M7 in Sydney.

With the alternative for motorists being longer travel times if they chose to avoid the tolls. Transurban’s revenues should also remain robust even during an economic slowdown. With a step change in EPS forecast, the prospective PE ratio based on FY 2018 consensus data is 17.7x.

Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd (ASX: SYD) is the operator of Australia’s busiest airport.

While tourism numbers in particular could be affected – especially from a slowdown in the Chinese economy – a monopoly asset such as Sydney Airport should continue to produce robust revenues and allow for the group to pay growing distributions to shareholders.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.