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​Asian stocks down on Wall Street fall, China uncertainty

BEIJING - China's stock benchmark sank more than 5 percent and other Asian markets fell Monday while Europe rose moderately as Wall Street's decline and doubts about Beijing's economic management kept appetite for riskier assets such as stocks in check.

In early European trading, Germany's DAX gained 0.7 percent to 9,918.83 and France's CAC-40 advanced 0.6 percent to 4,357.65. London's FTSE 100 added 0.2 percent to 5,921.77.

Futures augured gains for Wall Street after last week's retreat: Dow futures were up 0.4 percent and S&P 500 futures gained 0.5 percent.

Chinese stocks sank again after a rebound Friday that analysts suggested was due to buying from a group of state entities dubbed the "National Team." Trading was suspended twice last week after a key index plunged 7 percent. That sent out global shockwaves and pushed down oil prices. China's stock market has little connection to the rest of its economy, but its decline focused foreign attention on the slowdown in Chinese growth. The volatile performance of China's stock market has also dented the image of Chinese leaders as competent economic managers.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 5.3 percent to 3,016.70 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng sank 2.8 percent to 19,888.50. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.2 percent to 4,932.20 and Seoul's Kospi fell 1.2 percent to 1,894.84. India's Sensex retreated 0.4 percent to 24,833.07. Tokyo was closed for a holiday. New Zealand, Singapore and Jakarta also declined.

"Risk sentiment continues to weaken even as recovery in U.S. employment market remains robust," said Citigroup economists in a report. "It is important for investor sentiment that activity data from China delivers to market expectations. Downside surprise may further destabilize sentiment and add to concerns caused by volatility in renminbi and Chinese equities."

U.S. stocks had their worst week in four years following a sell-off sparked by concern China's economy might be slowing. That was despite a relatively healthy U.S. employment report Friday. Industrial and technology companies such as Boeing and Apple that do a lot of business in China fell. Miners including Freeport-McMoRan that supply China with copper and other minerals plunged. On Friday, the Standard & Poor's 500 fell 1.1 percent and the Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq composite both dropped 1 percent.

Benchmark U.S. crude shed 47 cents to $32.69 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the contract shed 11 cents to close at $33.16. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell 50 cents to $33.05 per barrel in London after losing 20 cents to $33.55 on Friday.

The dollar edged up to 117.30 yen from Friday's 117.26 yen. The euro declined to $1.0920 from $1.0925.

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