HONG KONG (AP) - Chinese stocks fluctuated wildly Thursday on signs of a further tightening up on lending practices at brokerages, while other world benchmarks sagged as investors awaited the outcome of Greece's talks with creditors.
HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese stocks fluctuated wildly Thursday on signs of a further tightening up on lending practices at brokerages, while other world benchmarks sagged as investors awaited the outcome of Greece's talks with creditors.
KEEPING SCORE: European stocks fell in early trading, with France's CAC 40 down 2 percent at 4,932.72 and Germany's DAX falling 1.6 percent to 11,233.17. Britain's FTSE 100 shed 1.4 percent to 6,855.74. U.S. stocks were poised to open lower, with Dow futures dropping 0.5 percent to 18,003.00 and the broader S&P 500 futures falling 0.5 percent to 2,106.00.
CHINA JITTERS: After opening higher, the Shanghai Composite Index plunged more than 5 percent soon after the start of the afternoon session before recovering to end in positive territory. Investors were spooked by news that a small Chinese brokerage was restricting margin trading. China's stock market has grown increasingly volatile after rising more than 140 percent over the past year and investors are growing cautious at possible signs that regulators are stepping up scrutiny to cool the market and prevent a crash.
ASIAN SCORECARD: The Shanghai index finished 0.8 percent higher at 4,947.10 after seesawing between positive and negative territory. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.7 percent to 20,488.19, while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.5 percent to 2,072.86. Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.4 percent to 27,551.89 while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.4 percent to 5,504.30.
GREEK TALKS: Key creditors are meeting with Greece's prime minister in Brussels this week as part of diplomatic efforts to resolve negotiations over budget reforms it needs to carry out in order to get access to bailout loans. Investors are hoping both sides will be able to come to a deal and avert a financial meltdown for the debt-stricken country.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 28 cents to $59.36 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.62 to close at $59.64 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil used by many U.S. refineries, fell 43 cents to $63.35 in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 124.2 yen from 124.35 yen on Wednesday. The euro edged lower to $1.1261 from $1.1262.