Asian Markets Mixed, Japan’s Nikkei 225 falls 2%

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday as investors continued monitoring the situation surrounding embattled developer China Evergrande Group.

Japanese stocks declined as they returned to trade following a Monday holiday. The Nikkei 225 closed 2.17% lower at 29,839.71 as shares of conglomerate Softbank Group plunged 4.98%. The Topix index shed 1.7% on the day to 2,064.55.

Asia markets
Nikkei 225 Performance Chart

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, which was dragged down by more than 3% on Monday amid investor fears around Evergrande, rose 0.51% to close at 24,221.54 on Tuesday.

Shares of China Evergrande Group fell 0.44%, while the Hang Seng Properties index climbed 2.97%, bouncing back partially from Monday’s losses.

Evergrande’s chairman tried to reassure markets on Tuesday, saying the firm will fulfil its responsibilities to property buyers, investors, partners and financial institutions, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing local media.

Meanwhile, S&P Global rating credit analysts said in a report: “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,” according to the Monday report. “Evergrande failing alone would unlikely result in such a scenario.”

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.35% on the day to 7,273.80.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.16% while Markets in mainland China and South Korea were closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

Airline stocks in Asia-Pacific rose after the U.S. announced a plan to ease travel restrictions for international visitors who are vaccinated.

Qantas Airways shares in Australia gained 2.23%. In Japan, shares of Japan Airlines jumped 4.47% while ANA Holdings advanced 2.53%. Hong Kong-listed shares of Cathay Pacific jumped 3%.

Elsewhere, Singapore Airlines’ stock in Singapore gained 3.33%, as of around 4:15 p.m. local time.

Asian Markets Oil and currencies

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.6% to $75.10 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 1.78% to $71.54 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.191 following its climb late last week from about 92.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.63 per dollar, having strengthened yesterday from around 110 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7277 as it struggles to recover after declining from above $0.73 last week.

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