Mon, 18 Oct 2021

SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Shares in Asia were mixed on Friday as China Evergrande failed to pay $83.5 million interest due on some of its $305 billion of debt.

While the payment was missed, the property giant has a 30-day grace period before it officially defaults.

"These are periods of eerie silence as no-one wants to take massive risks at this stage," Howe Chung Wan, head of Asia fixed income at Principal Global Investors in Singapore told Reuters Friday.

"There's no precedent to this at the size of Evergrande ... we have to see in the next ten days or so, before China goes into holiday, how this is going to play out."

Stocks in Hong Kong and China dived, and the Australian market was also off. However, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 surged 609.41 points or 2.06 percent to 30,248.81.

The Australian All Ordinaries dropped 32.00 points or 0.42 percent to 7,649.30.

China's Shanghai Composite declined 29.15 points or 0.80 percent to 3,613.07.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong did worst, shedding 355.58 points or 1.45 percent to 24,155.40.

On foreign exchange markets, the euro changed hands at 1.1731 around the Sydney close Friday. The British pound slipped to 1.3709. The Japanese yen weakened to 110.49. The Swiss franc was steady at 0.9247.

The Canadian dollar edged lower to 1.2636. The Australian dollar dipped to 0.7276. The New Zealand dollar fell to 0.7048.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials did best, rising 506.50 points or 1.48 percent to 34,764.82.

The Standard and Poor's 500 rose 53.34 points or 1.21 percent to 4,448.98.

The Nasdaq Composite climbed 155.40 points or 15,052.24.

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