Asia report: Markets mixed, Evergrande jumps on repayment reports
Stock markets in Asia closed in a mixed state on Thursday, with China Evergrande shares surging on reports it had paid some of its creditors amid ongoing concerns about its ability to service its debt.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.59% at 29,277.86, as the yen weakened 0.05% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 113.97.
It was a green day for the major components on the benchmark index, with robotics specialist Fanuc up 3.67%, Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing rising 0.67%, and technology giant SoftBank Group ahead 1.85%.
The broader Topix index was 0.32% firmer by the end of trading in Tokyo, settling at 2,014.30.
In fresh data out of Tokyo, the producer prices index came in hotter for October, with producer inflation running at 8% year-on-year, against expectations for a 7% increase.
“This appears to be the highest reading since 1981,” said analysts at Rabobank.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was up 1.15% at 3,532.79, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite advanced 1.14% to 2,457.78.
South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.18% to 2,924.92, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong jumped 1.01% to 25,247.99.
Embattled property developer China Evergrande Group leapt 6.75% in the special administrative region, after media reports in China suggested that a number of bondholders had received payments from the company.
Evergrande shares had been on a rollercoaster rise in recent months, after the firm missed several bond coupon deadlines, leading to consternation around its viability and the wider property sector in China.
Peers in Hong Kong were also in the green, with China Vanke up 6.73% and Country Garden ahead 5.39% by the end of the day.
The blue-chip technology stocks were on the back foot in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics down 0.43% and SK Hynix losing 0.92%.
Oil prices were lower as the region went to bed, with Brent crude last down 0.44% at $82.28 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate losing 0.65% to $80.81.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.57% to 7,381.90, after official statistics showed an unexpected fall in employment.
The number of Australians in work slid by a seasonally-adjusted 46,300 in October, going in the complete opposite direction to the 50,000 increase pencilled in by analysts in a Reuters poll.
Australia’s unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose to 5.2%, well above the 4.8% anticipated in Reuters polling.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 eked out gains of 0.03% to 13,026.91, with logistics group Mainfreight gaining 2.8% in Wellington.
That came after the trucking company beat expectations on profit in its latest earnings report, as net profit rocketed 78% to NZD 182m, ahead of what the market had forecast at NZD 172m.
The down under dollars were both weaker against the greenback, with the Aussie last off 0.41% at AUD 1.3705, and the Kiwi retreating 0.55% to NZD 1.4247.