Asian Equities Recover Slightly after Touching 17 Month Low

An index of Asian shares reversed course and rose on Thursday as a slide in battered Chinese stocks was stemmed, at least temporarily, while the safe-haven yen was nudged off highs scaled against the dollar.  MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, often held hostage to volatile Chinese stocks, was down 0.9 percent early in the day, but then was up 0.8 percent. During Wednesday, it touched a 17-month low.

At 0253 GMT, China’s CSI300 index was up 1.6 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index had gained 0.6 percent. Both indexes started the day significantly lower.  The country’s stock markets have plunged roughly 30 percent over the last three weeks, with a series of increasingly aggressive attempts by authorities so far having failed to stem the massive exodus from a once-booming market.

China’s securities regulator took the drastic step late on Wednesday of ordering shareholders with stakes of more than 5 percent from selling shares for the next six months, in a bid to halt a plunge in stock prices.  Also, Xinhua news agency reported that China’s police will investigate potentially “malicious” short-selling of shares.