Asian stocks end mixed as Evergrande avoids default
(RTTNews) – Asian stocks recovered their initial losses to end on a flat note on Friday as struggling developer China Evergrande Group made a bond payment, just before the 30-day grace period expired.
Chinese stocks ended slightly lower, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite closing 12.18 points, or 0.34%, at 3,582.60.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.42% to close at 26,126.93. Evergrande shares in China jumped 4.3% after reporting it provided funds to pay interest on a dollar bond.
Japanese stocks rose after a survey showed that growth in factory activity in the country accelerated in October from the previous month and the service sector first expanded in 21 months.
The rise was limited by concerns about the potential contagion of the Evergrande debt crisis in China and uncertainties ahead of the country’s general election.
The Nikkei average rose 96.27 points, or 0.34%, to 28,804.85, while the larger Topix index finished slightly higher at 2,002.23.
Tech stocks are at the top of the winner’s list, with Tokyo Electron up 4.4% and Screen Holdings up 5%. Semiconductor company Disco jumped 3% after posting a 71% jump in first-half operating profit.
Australian markets fluctuated before ending on a flat note after a survey showed the country’s manufacturing sector grew at a faster pace in October.
Mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto fell around 2% amid falling iron ore prices and concerns about defaulting payments from Chinese real estate developers.
Energy stocks such as Oil Search, Santos and Woodside Petroleum lost 2-3% after oil extended declines overnight. A strong US dollar pushed up export-dependent healthcare stocks, with Healius and Ramsay Health climbing 4% and 2.6% respectively.
Rail operator Aurizon plunged 6.2% after agreeing to buy the asset management arm of Macquarie Group Ltd. for 2.35 billion Australian dollars (1.76 billion dollars).
Seoul stocks ended little change with a negative bias, with Evergrande’s debt problems posing a systematic risk to the Chinese financial system. Chipmaker SK Hynix gained 2.3% and automotive battery leader LG Chem added 1.5% while steelmaker POSCO lost 2.4%.
New Zealand actions ended a choppy session as the government set an ambitious goal of fully vaccinating 90 percent of all eligible people to end coronavirus lockdowns.
The benchmark NZX-50 fell 32.74 points, or 0.25%, to 13,093.24 in a relatively calm session ahead of the three-day weekend. A2 Milk shares fell 4 percent following reports the infant formula maker faces a second class action lawsuit.
Overnight, US stocks broadly rose on economic optimism after data showed early jobless claims fell to a 19-month low last week and sales of existing homes rebounded much more than expected in September.
The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.6% and the S&P 500 rose 0.3% to extend gains for the seventh consecutive session and hit a new closing high, while the Dow finished slightly lower.
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