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Mainland shares led losses in a mixed trading session in Asia on Tuesday, with investors doubtful of how effective Beijing's slew of market rescue measures will be.
Overnight, U.S. stocks handed over a mildly negative lead as investors weighed concerns of contagion from the Greece debt crisis. The S&P 500 led losses with a 0.4 percent dip, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and tech-heavy Nasdaq shed 0.3 percent each.
Shanghai Comp tanks 1.3%
China's Shanghai Composite index resumed its downturn to slump more than 1 percent on Tuesday, giving up the gains that it had accrued in the previous session following a salvo of support measures orchestrated by Beijing over the weekend.
The blue-chip CSI300 index plummeted 1.8 percent, while the smaller Shenzhen Composite sank 5.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index tracked its mainland peers lower, falling 1 percent.
Apart from halting initial public offerings (IPOs), China's top 21 securities brokerages said on Saturday they would collectively invest at least 120 billion yuan ($19.3 billion) to help stabilize the country's stock markets after a slump of nearly 30 percent since mid-June. In addition, 57 Chinese mutual funds are reportedly investing 2.2 billion yuan in stock funds.
The People's Bank of China (PBOC) also rolled out 250 billion yuan of medium-term loans to banks last week to ensure adequate liquidity in the system. Meanwhile, China's Securities Times reported that major insurance firms such as China Life Insurance plowed tens of billions of yuan into blue chip exchange-traded funds (ETF) and large caps on Monday.
As such, financial heavyweights extended their winning streak; Bank of China and China Construction Bank surged by the daily limit of 10 percent each, while China Life Insurance and Ping An Insurance tacked on 10 percent each as well.
However, analysts say the piling into blue chips may not do much to stabilize the market.
"The dichotomy in the valuations between the small and large caps is the [premise] of the market-saving measure right now. It is a good move, but it remains to be seen whether two-thirds of the market - made up of mid to small-cap companies and is going through a bubble bursting process - can be stabilized with the buying of blue chips with public money," Hao Hong, MD of research & chief strategist at Bank of Communications International, told CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box. "
To be sure, the turbulence is proving too much to bear for some companies. According to an analysis of company filings, over 700 firms listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen - equivalent to around a quarter of the firms on the two exchanges - have issued requests to suspend trading or extend trading halts since a June 12 peak.
Nikkei jumps 1.3%
Japan's Nikkei 225 recouped more than half of Monday's losses to rebound from a one-week closing low.
Bargain hunters swooped in on counters that were heavily sold off in the previous session. Export-oriented plays such as Sony and Panasonic bounced up 0.9 and 1.2 percent, respectively, while financials like Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group closed up 0.8 percent.
Meanwhile, Japanese retailers will begin their corporate reporting season this week, with Seven & i Holdings set to announce earnings after the market close. Shares of the 7-Eleven convenience store operator leaped 2.4 percent, while heavyweight component Fast Retailing climbed 2.6 percent.
ASX leaps 1.9%
Australia's S&P ASX 200 index widened gains to break a two-session losing streak after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced it was keeping the cash rate unchanged at a record low of 2 percent, in line with expectations.
The Australian dollar turned choppy following the central bank's decision and last traded around $0.7487, compared to $0.7471 against the greenback prior to the announcement.
Mining and banking heavyweights attracted hefty buy orders, with Fortescue Metals and Rio Tinto jumping 4.1 and 1.1 percent, respectively. Westpac led gains among the major lenders, with a rise of 3.9 percent.
Kospi falls 0.7%
South Korea's Kospi index erased early gains to dive down to a near three-week low, a day after posting its sharpest one-day loss since June 2012.
Samsung Electronics hogged the market spotlight after estimating its operating profit at 6.9 trillion won during the second quarter, below analyst expectations. The average forecast from a Reuters poll of 39 analysts tipped April-June operating profit at 7.2 trillion won, the same as a year earlier and up from 6 trillion won in January-March. Shares of Samsung Electronics rallied 0.8 percent after a brief negative open.
Meanwhile, U.S. activist hedge fund Elliott Associates said on Tuesday it plans to appeal a South Korean court's rejection of its request to block Samsung C&T from selling treasury shares to KCC Corp. Samsung C&T's stock receded 2.4 percent following the news.
Southeast Asia eyed
The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI index struggled around the flatline, while the ringgit hovered near its lowest level since September 1998 against the greenback amid graft allegations surrounding the country's Prime Minister Najib Razak.
At 1530 SIN/HK, the ringgit fetched 3.8050 against the U.S. dollar.
Shares of Singapore-listed Noble Group cut losses to rise 1.4 percent late Tuesday. Earlier in the day, the Hong Kong-based commodities trader said it had commissioned a third-party review of its mark to market (MTM) models and valuations "in the interests of transparency."