China stocks seesaw, investors jittery after big tumble

Traders work at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, on May 29, 2015.

REUTERS

HONG KONG - Chinese stocks seesawed on Friday as investors remained jittery a day after a sharp sell-off while other world benchmarks were uneven, as European shares slumped while Asian indexes finished higher.

European stocks opened lower, with France's CAC 40 losing 1.3 percent to 5,070.82. Germany's DAX shed 1.3 percent to 11,525.38. Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 0.4 percent to 7,013.43. U.S. stocks were poised to open lower. Dow futures edged down slightly and broader S&P 500 futures slipped 0.2 percent.

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.

The China "selling may just continue for a few days, as the scramble for the exit door intensifies," Nicholas Teo of CMC Markets in Singapore said in a commentary. He said the market is facing a "liquidity drain" due to a heavy calendar on IPOs next week.

The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China finished 0.2 percent lower at 4,611.74 after spending the day swinging between gains and losses following its 6.5 percent tumble on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 edged up 0.1 percent to 20,563.18 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.2 percent to 2,114.80. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.1 percent to 27,424.19 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.1 percent to 5,777.20.

Benchmark crude rose as U.S. supplies declined more than expected. The futures contract was up 76 cents to $58.44 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 59 cents to $63.17 in London.

The dollar slipped slightly to 123.70 yen from 123.75 yen in the previous global trading session. The euro rose to $1.0989 from $1.0969.