Chinese stocks tumbled again on Friday, taking the week's losses to more than 10 percent, as the securities regulator said it was investigating suspected market manipulation and announced a slew of measures aimed at heading off a full-blown crash. After a slump of nearly 30 percent in Chinese stocks since mid-June, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has set up a team to look at "clues of illegal manipulation across markets". After the market closed, a CSRC spokesman said China would cut initial public offerings and capital raisings and support long-term investors entering the market to help stabilize prices.
Supporters of Greece's bailout terms have taken a wafer-thin lead over the "No" vote backed by the leftist government, 48 hours before Sunday's referendum, an opinion poll showed. "Attention will be pinned on Greece and this is likely to see investors cautious as we head into the weekend ... Even if we get a Yes' vote, this means the country must go back to the negotiation table and try to knock something together again," IG market analyst Stan Shamu said. "However, it's a lot worse on the other side as a 'No' vote will present a host of uncertainties that could really rattle markets ... Either way, traders will need to buckle up for a tumultuous Monday." Bund yields were down 1.5 basis points at 0.84 percent.
Health insurer Aetna Inc said it would buy smaller rival Humana Inc for about $37 billion in cash and stock, in the largest ever deal in the insurance industry. The combination will push Aetna close to Anthem Inc's No.2 insurer spot by membership, and would nearly triple Aetna's Medicare Advantage business. The deal will face antitrust scrutiny but if it goes through it would dwarf the previous largest insurance deal announced just this week, where Swiss property and casualty giant ACE Ltd announced it was buying Chubb Corp for $28 billion.
Supporters of Greece's bailout terms have taken a wafer-thin lead over the "No" vote backed by the leftist government, 48 hours before a referendum that may determine the country's future in the euro zone, a poll showed. It could also determine whether Greece becomes the first country to crash out of the 19-nation European single currency area, membership of which is meant to be irrevocable. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to reject the "humiliating" terms offered last week by international creditors in a deal that is no longer on the table, and accused lenders of "blackmail" by withholding credit.
A new opinion poll on Greece's bailout referendum pointed to a closely balanced result in the vote that could decide the country's future in Europe. The poll, conducted by the ALCO polling institute and published in the Ethnos newspaper on Friday, reflected a sharp swing from a previous opinion poll that showed the No vote backed by the left-wing government strongly ahead. The latest poll was published a day after the International Monetary Fund delivered a stark warning of the huge financial hole facing Greece.