Asian stock rebound, China's battered benchmark jumps as government measures kick in

Markets Associated Press

Asian stock markets rebounded on Thursday led by gains on China's main index, which jumped after government measures aimed at stabilizing the market took hold.

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KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite in mainland China surged 6.8 percent to 3,745.86 in the afternoon session after initially opening sharply lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rebounded 4.8 percent to 24,645.77 a day after suffering its biggest drop since the financial crisis. Other markets turned from losses to gains. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.6 percent to 19,855.50 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.6 percent to 2,027.33. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.2 percent to 5,477.70.

CHINA TURMOIL: Frantic efforts by authorities to arrest the nearly monthlong slide in the country's stock markets appeared to be giving the market an artificial bounce, analysts said. A flurry of measures announced Wednesday included a government order to state companies and executives to buy shares. A directive from the China Securities Regulatory Commission requires investors owning more than 5 percent of a company's shares to not sell any of their holdings for the next six months, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

ANALYST VIEW: "China's mass exodus came to a halt today as Chinese locals switched into patriotic buying mode," said Betty Lam, sales trader at CMC Markets in Sydney, Australia.

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 rose 90 cents to $52.55 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 69 cents to $57.74 in London.

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CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 121.43 yen from 120.80 in late trading Wednesday. The euro slipped to $1.1105 from $1.1072.