Asian stocks fall in volatile trade as China index seesaws

AP News
Posted: Jul 09, 2015 12:16 AM
Asian stocks fall in volatile trade as China index seesaws

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks markets were volatile on Thursday as China's main index seesawed after a prolonged sell-off while Hong Kong's benchmark rebounded strongly.

KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China fell more than 3 percent in the first half hour of trading before reversing course and rising 1.4 percent to 3,555.69. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rebounded 4.1 percent to 24,492.45 a day after suffering its biggest drop since the financial crisis. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.3 percent to 19,480.91 and South Korea's Kospi slid 1.2 percent to 1,992.91. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.4 percent to 5,448.40.

CHINA TURMOIL: Frantic efforts by authorities to arrest the nearly monthlong slide in the country's stock markets appeared to be giving investors pause, with the main benchmark swinging between gains and losses. In the latest move to stabilize the market, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said late Wednesday that it was ordering investors holding more than 5 percent of a company's shares not to sell any of their holdings for the next six months, according to the official Xinhua news agency. Separately, the vice minister of public security paid a visit to the securities watchdog's office to investigate short selling, Xinhua said Thursday.

ANALYST VIEW: "The Chinese government is having a 'whatever it takes' moment with the stock market" with its numerous rescue measures over the past week, said Wei Yao, China economist at Societe Generale, in a report. "The impact on the market remains muted and so more resources will probably be ramped up for the battle in the coming days."

WALL STREET: Major U.S. indexes fell on worries about China and the logjam in talks between Greece and its creditors. Trading on the New York Stock Exchange was also disrupted by technical trouble that caused a shutdown lasting more than three hours. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 1.5 percent to 17,515.42 and the Standard & Poor's 500 fell 1.7 percent to close at 2,046.68. The Nasdaq slid 1.8 percent to 4,909.76.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell rose 16 cents to $51.81 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 68 cents to close at $51.65 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, an international benchmark, rose 59 cents to $57.64 in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 121.16 yen from 120.80 in late trading Wednesday. The euro was flat at $1.1072.