• By The Financial District

Asian Stocks Lose As Possible Evergrande Default Irks Investors

Asian stocks slipped on Thursday as the upbeat mood that carried the Dow Jones and bitcoin to records a day earlier ran out of steam, replaced by fresh worries about the weakening Chinese property sector as possible default by China Evergrande looms within days, Tom Westbrook reported for Reuters.


Photo Insert: The dismal trading was despite reassurance by People's Bank of China Governor Yi Gang that Evergrande investors would be protected.



The more cautious tone looked set to take hold globally as well, with European futures and FTSE futures down 0.3 percent and S&P 500 futures dipping 0.2 percent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.3 percent after briefly touching a one-month high. Japan's Nikkei fell 1.5 percent as the safe-haven yen rose broadly.


Commodities also eased, with Brent crude futures down 0.2 percent after touching a three-year top and Chinese thermal coal futures extending a pullback in the wake of signals that Beijing will intervene to cool prices.



"The US stock market has gone up for six days in a row, bitcoin's made a record and the US bond market is calm. On the surface it looks benign," said Andrew Ticehurst, a rates strategist at Nomura in Sydney.


"But below the surface, we are uncomfortable about a number of things," he added, chiefly the slowdown in China's economy seen in data earlier this week, and concerns about potential fallout from Evergrande's troubles.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

China Evergrande Group has secured an extension on one defaulted bond, financial news provider REDD reported on Thursday, as the company scrambles for cash before a grace period for a dollar bond coupon payment expires on Saturday.


Late on Wednesday Evergrande said a deal to sell a US$2.6 billion stake in its property services unit failed and its shares fell 12 percent in Hong Kong on Thursday.


Market & economy: Market economist in suit and tie reading reports and analysing charts in the office located in the financial district.

Wall Street had offered a positive lead after earnings helped the Dow Jones touch an all-time high and left the S&P 500 within a whisker of its record closing high. The VIX volatility index, sometimes referred to as Wall Street's "fear gauge", dropped to a two-month low. But a soft finish on the Nasdaq flowed through to tech-stock selling in Tokyo and in Hong Kong, where the Hang Seng fell 0.8 percent.


Longer-dated Treasury yields steadied after rising with inflation and growth expectations on Wednesday, with the benchmark 10-year yield at 1.6568 percent, just below the previous day's five-month high of 1.6730 percent.



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