Chinese equities shed 1.24 percent Friday, paring two weeks' gains on concerns over government moves to rein in loans to squash inflation.
Investors bid up Air China shares to a two-year high on Friday on expectations the world's largest airline by market value will use its new $950 million war chest to fund acquisitions at home and abroad.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) today begins to accept applications for a margin-trading and short-selling pilot program, China Securities Journal reported.
Most mainland stocks fell, led by automakers and developers, after inflation accelerated and new loans exceeded forecasts, boosting the prospect for higher interest rates.
The Shanghai-based China Financial Futures Exchange (CFFEX) has said it will test the stock index futures system during the coming weekends of March 13-14 and March 20-21.
Hong Kong stocks edged up 19.91 points, or 0.09 percent to close at 21,228.20 on Thursday.
The ChiNext stock market was up Thursday as 53 of the 58 stocks at China's start-up board for small and medium-sized enterprises rose.
Chinese equities closed mixed Thursday. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index on the Shanghai Stock Exchange closed at 3,051.28 points, up 2.36 points, or 0.08 percent.
Emerging-market stocks will drop as much as 15 percent this year as earnings miss estimates and global growth slows, said Devan Kaloo, who oversees $22 billion at Aberdeen Asset Management Plc.
Mainland stocks fell for the first time in four days, led by automakers and developers on concern faster exports and inflation will spur the central bank to raise interest rates from a five-year low.
Hong Kong stocks edged up 0.74 points to close at 21,208.29 on Wednesday, the second day registering flat ending after Tuesday's lackluster performance.
The ChiNext was down Wednesday as 40 of the 58 stocks at China's start-up board for small and medium-sized enterprises fell.