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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 amid increasingly desperate attempts by Beijing to head 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". A flurry of policy moves over the past week, including an interest rate cut and a relaxation of margin lending rules, have failed to arrest the sell-off.
Asian markets mostly retreated Friday ahead of the weekend's Greek referendum that could decide its eurozone future, while Shanghai plunged almost six percent, at the end of another torrid week for mainland investors. Seoul dropped 0.14 percent, or 2.92 points, to end at 2,104.41 and Sydney fell 61.5 points, or 1.1 percent, to 5,538.3, while in late trade Hong Kong was 0.50 percent lower.