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Asia report: Markets mixed, HK property sector partially recovers

By Josh White

Date: Tuesday 21 Sep 2021

Asia report: Markets mixed, HK property sector partially recovers

(Sharecast News) - Markets in Asia were mixed on Tuesday, with Japan leading the losses as it returned from a long weekend, and bourses in mainland China and Korea remaining closed.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 2.17% at 29,839.71, as the yen weakened 0.12% to last trade at JPY 109.57.

It was a negative day for the benchmark's major components, with robotics specialist Fanuc down 3.96%, Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing losing 2.3%, and technology giant SoftBank Group sliding 4.98%.

The broader Topix index lost 1.7% by the end of trading in Tokyo, settling at 2,064.55.

Traders in mainland China and South Korea remained on holiday for those countries' respective autumn festivals.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was 0.51% firmer at 24,221.54, as the property sector recovered some of Monday's losses, with the Hang Seng Properties Index rising 2.97%.

China Evergrande Group was still under the cosh, losing 0.44% on Tuesday, as its chairman worked to reassure investors following heavy losses on Monday.

According to Reuters, the head of the property developer's board said the company would meet its obligations to investors, financial institutions, partners and property buyers.

Markets have been fearing Evergrande would default on some of its debts in the coming days, as China's second-largest developer grappled with a regulatory crackdown from Beijing on highly-leveraged players in the sector.

"We believe Beijing would only be compelled to step in if there is a far-reaching contagion causing multiple major developers to fail and posing systemic risks to the economy," analysts at S&P Global Ratings said in a report overnight.

"Evergrande failing alone would unlikely result in such a scenario."

Oil prices were higher as the region went to bed, with Brent crude last up 1.3% at $74.88 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate rising 1.34% to $71.08.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 managed gains of 0.35% to 7,273.80, while across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 slipped 0.01% to 13,176.94.

The Australasian flag carriers were in the green on their respective markets, with Qantas rising 2.23% in Sydney and Air New Zealand ahead 2.29% in Wellington, after plans for the US to ease travel restrictions on vaccinated international travellers were revealed late on Monday.

Both Qantas and Air New Zealand are major players in the trans-Pacific air travel market between the United States and South Pacific destinations.

The down under dollars were trading stronger on the greenback, with the Aussie last ahead 0.33% at AUD 1.3744, and the Kiwi advancing 0.25% to NZD 1.4190.


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