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Asian Stocks Nervous Ahead Of Central Bank Policies, Evergrande Deadline

asian mixed 21sep21 lt

Asian stocks today traded mixed as global markets braced for a tryst with the much-feared "credit event" at China Evergrande, China's prolific property developer. Interest payments on the company's bonds are due later in the week and S&P Global warned that the company was in the brink of default.

Markets were nervous despite lingering hope that China would not let the crisis spiral out of control and waited for any relief measure from the Chinese govt. Traders also waited anxiously for the outcome of central bank policy meetings in the U.S and Japan. Markets in China and Korea remained closed due to local holidays.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index shed 660.34 points or 2.17 percent to close at 29,839.71 as trading resumed after holidays and traders weighed in on the impact of a likely "credit event" at China Evergrande. Meanwhile, Bank of Japan began a two-day policy setting meeting amidst expectations that it would stick to its accommodative monetary policy stance. Traders' speculation on the likely central bank commentary on the domestic economic and foreign trade scenario also impacted sentiment.

Pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo was the top gainer with rallying 7.68 percent, way ahead of Central Japan Railway company that added 3.15 percent. Housing equipment and building materials company Toto was the worst performer with a decline of 6.06 percent. Construction equipment makers Hitachi Construction Machinery and Komatsu shed more than 5 percent.

The Hang Seng Index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange gained 122.40 points or 0.51 percent from previous close to finish trading at 24,221.54. The day's high was at 24,284.87 and low was at 23,867.16.

Australia's S&P ASX200 gained 36 points or 0.35 percent to close at 7,273.80, around 4.7 percent below its 52-week high of 7632.80. Meanwhile sentiment improved as minutes of Reserve Bank of Australia meeting placed on record expectations of the economy's return to the pre-delta path by second half of 2022.

Energy infrastructure business Ausnet Services rallied 9.75 percent amidst takeover negotiations with Canadian investor Brookfield and rival $10 billion offer from ASX-listed gas pipeline giant APA Group, to become the top performing stock in the index in the day's trading. APA group declined the most in the index with a correction of 4.73 percent.

Wisetech Global that provides software solutions for the logistics industry gained 5.05 percent. Nickel Mines, with principal business operations in Indonesia dropped 4.73 percent after rumours emerged of nickel export tax by Indonesia.

The NZX50 of the New Zealand Stock Exchange shed 1.64 points or 0.01 percent to close flat at 13,176.94. At closing levels, the index was 3.42 percent below the 52-week high of 13643.78.

Vista Group International that offers software for the film industry was the lead gainer, up 3.28 percent. Sports and entertainment media provider Sky Network Television declined 2.43 percent.

On Monday, the U.S. benchmarks had closed rather weak as China Evergrande fiasco exacerbated the anxiety surrounding the imminent stimulus tapering and monetary tightening. Anxiety precipitated as interest payments on the company's bonds are due later in the week and fears of a contagion, given the offshore bond exposures added to the risk aversion. Nasdaq-100 had shed 2.10 percentage to close at 15,012.19, whereas Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by a massive 614 points or 1.78 percent to end at 33,970.47.

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