Business

China shares fall 2% to lead Asia's losses

A man standing by a stock board Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mainland Chinese shares led falls across the region on Monday

Mainland Chinese shares closed down 2% on Monday, leading losses in Asia as investors worried about new measures to cool the red hot stock market.

The Shanghai Composite fell to 5,062.99 on new moves to tighten margin lending and signs of more initial public offering (IPO) issuances.

Analysts estimate around 25 IPOs expected this week could lock up 5.7tn yuan ($918bn; £591bn) of capital.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended down 1.5% to 26,861.81.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) demanded that broker firms make sure they do not allow lending to clients through illicit channels.

Rest of Asia

The rest of Asia headed lower on fears that Greece could default on its debts after it failed to reach a deal in talks with creditors in Brussels over the weekend.

Greece's bailout expires at the end of the month and the country potentially faces leaving the eurozone.

Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.1% lower at 20,387.79 points while South Korea's Kospi index shed 0.5% to 2,042.32.

Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.12% at 5,538.80 points.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund unexpectedly pulled out of talks with Greece after saying that no progress had been made.

"Greek negotiations falling through bring hopes of a resolution too close to the wire, with a lot being hung on the Eurogroup meeting later this week," wrote Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho bank.

"We expect a tumultuous negotiation process to continue inducing euro volatility."

Week ahead

Investors will be watching the US Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday for more clues about when the US central bank will raise interest rates.

"No change in policy is expected," Mr Varathan said. "However, Fed officials have done abrupt U-turns in the past when the data changes."

Central banks in Japan and Indonesia will also hold policy meetings this week.

However both the Bank of Japan and Bank Indonesia are expected to maintain interest rates at their current level.

Figures on China's latest property prices are also due to be released on Friday.

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