China shares breach 5,000 level first time since 2008

smiling trader Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mainland China shares rallied to hit another seven-year high on Friday

Shares in mainland China closed at a new seven-year high, with the Shanghai Composite breaching the key 5,000 level for the first time since 2008.

The benchmark index ended up 1.5% to 5,023.10 - closing above 5,000 for the first time in seven years.

Shares reversed earlier losses in volatile trade that has marred the index this week, leading it to plunge as much as 5% at one point on Thursday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index finished lower by 1.1% to 27,260.16,

Major Chinese brokerage Citic Securities was the latest to tighten margin trading rules for the second time in less than a month, showing fresh signs that a government-directed campaign to reduce leverage in the red-hot stock market is gaining momentum.

Margin trading allows investors to borrow money to buy stocks.

Shares have also been trading erratically this week as investors freed up cash for a raft of new share offerings in Shanghai.

Elsewhere in Asia

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Image caption Investors in Asia will be watching US non-farm payroll job numbers out on Friday

Other shares in Asia were mixed on Friday after US stocks closed lower amid fears over Greece reaching a deal with creditors and the IMF cutting its US growth forecast.

Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down 0.13% at 20,460.90 points.

Greece has told the IMF it will delay Friday's €300m (£216m) debt repayment and bundle June's payments together.

Investors will also be watching US non-farm payroll job numbers out on Friday.

The numbers will give investors the most up-to-date health check on the world's largest economy.

Expectations are that the job report will show the US added around 225,000 jobs in May, up from 223,000 in April.

Analysts said a positive report of more than 250,000 would push up the value of the US dollar and could raise expectations that the US Federal Reserve may raise rates as soon as September.

In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.11% at 5,498.50.

The index closed down close to 1.5% on Thursday, after the government posted its worst trade deficit on record.

Meanwhile, in South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index closed down 0.23% at 2,068.10.

Analysts suggest investor sentiment could be affected in South Korea after a fourth person died in the country from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or Mers.

Mers has infected dozens of people and closed hundreds of schools. The latest victim contracted the disease after sharing a hospital ward with Mers patients.

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