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Asian stocks rise amid fresh volatility in China


China stock exchangesASIAN stocks rose from the day’s lows as Chinese shares see-sawed after Beijing scrambled to prop them up while some investors took shelter from market volatility in safe-haven assets such as government bonds and the Japanese yen.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.3 percent on the day after falling nearly 1 percent early on, touching its lowest level since July 9 before rebounding.

Main China indexes gyrated. In the mid-afternoon the Shanghai market benchmark was down more than 3 percent, then pared some of the loss.
Financial spreadbetters expected Britain’s FTSE 100 to open around 30 points higher, or up 0.46 percent, and Germany’s DAX to gain about 60 points, or up 0.54 percent, on Tuesday.

With most China focused stock indexes quite volatile after Beijing pledged to lend further support, sentiment remained weak with many investors looking to exit the markets at the first signs of a rally.

“Retail investors’ confidence in the mainland market is very weak. They prefer to stay away from the market after liquidating their position,” said Steven Leung, a director from UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong.

Since hitting a peak in early June, Chinese shares have gone through a roller-coaster ride with main indexes falling by a third in less than a month before rebounding by a quarter, only to then have their biggest one-day fall since 2007 on Monday.

“Volatility is the enemy of investor appetite,” said the head of index trading at a U.S. fund, referring to the lack of demand from foreign investors for onshore stocks.

A mechanism to invest in Chinese equity markets remains barely utilized this week despite the gyrations, in contrast to previous episodes when offshore buyers have jumped in to buy mainland stocks during any weakness.

While regional Asian markets have been initially resilient to the fireworks in Chinese stocks, they have started to move more closely in step with the mainland over recent days in the absence of fresh triggers elsewhere.

Correlations between the MSCI gauge for regional stocks and the Shanghai index have risen to 0.5 – its strongest in nearly a year – indicating the market rout is starting to have a broader regional impact.

Tokyo’s Nikkei ended 0.1 percent lower while Australian shares were down 0.2 percent.

Investor sentiment was also cautious ahead of a two-day U.S. Federal Reserve meeting beginning later Tuesday where some investors believe the it will make its case for hiking rates as early as September.

Overnight, the Dow dropped 0.7 percent and Nasdaq fell 1 percent while share indices in Frankfurt and Paris tumbled more than 2.5 percent.

n currencies, the dollar rose from the day’s lows at 123.55 yen as safe-haven assets were boosted by market jitters, offsetting upbeat U.S. durable good orders data.

The euro was slightly weaker at $1.10830 after surging to a two-week high of $1.1129 overnight thanks to a bullish Ifo survey of German business sentiment.

Bonds were the solitary bright spot in Asia with U.S. Treasuries and Japanese government debt standing tall in a sea of red across stock markets as investors dumped riskier bets.

Ten-year Japanese bond yields held firm at 0.40 percent, from 0.55 percent two weeks earlier, a large move for the markets while 10-year U.S. Treasuries held at 2.2 percent.

Oil struggled at four-month lows after the Chinese stock market crash fuelled worries the world’s biggest energy consumer may cut back and as more evidence emerged of a global crude supply glut.

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