China stocks extend fall, investors jittery after big tumble

AP News
Posted: May 28, 2015 11:18 PM
China stocks extend fall, investors jittery after big tumble

HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese stocks fell again Friday as investors remained jittery a day after a sharp sell-off. Other major Asian benchmarks climbed.

KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China declined 0.4 percent to 4,600.73 as it swung between gains and losses a day after tumbling 6.5 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 edged up 0.3 percent to 20,605.68 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.3 percent to 2,116.96. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.1 percent to 27,494.11 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.2 percent to 5,780.40.

CHINA GYRATIONS: The Shanghai stock market is increasingly volatile after soaring more than 120 percent in the past year. Among the reasons cited by analysts and state media for Thursday's sell-off were stricter margin lending requirements by brokers; a Chinese sovereign wealth fund dumping shares in two state banks; the central bank draining liquidity from the market; and a wave of initial share offerings expected next week that will compete for Chinese investors' money.

ANALYST VIEW: "Although numerous triggers have been proposed for Thursday's nearly 7 percent fall in the Shanghai Composite, none of these seem likely to have had a large enough impact on fundamentals to explain such a sizable move," Capital Economics said in a research note. "Instead, it was probably driven by a wild swing in sentiment. With valuations divorced from economic fundamentals, the heightened volatility we have seen is likely to continue."

WALL STREET: Major U.S. stock benchmarks fell slightly after the sell-off in Shanghai and a looming debt payment deadline for cash-starved Greece. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.2 percent to 18,126.12. The Standard & Poor's 500 edged down 0.1 percent to 2,120.79. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.2 percent to 5,097.98.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude rose as U.S. supplies declined more than expected. The futures contract was up 67 cents to $58.35 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 17 cents to settle at $57.68 a barrel in Nymex floor trading on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price oil sold internationally, rose 53 cents to $63.11 in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 123.66 yen from 123.75 yen in the previous global trading session. The euro slipped to $1.0960 from $1.0969.