Asian shares mixed after Evergrande sale deal called off

Tokyo: Shares are mixed in Asia after major Chinese property developer Evergrande said a plan to sell its property management arm to a smaller rival had fallen through.

Shares slipped in Hong Kong and Tokyo but rose in most other regional markets.

China Evergrande Group’s shares tumbled nearly 12% while shares in Evergrande Property Services slipped 6.8%. In a notice to the Hong Kong exchange Evergrande said it was having difficulties selling off assets to resolve its cash crunch.

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The Evergrande Group or the Evergrande Real Estate Group is the second-largest property developer in China by sales

Hopson Development Holdings’ shares rose 5.2% after it said was unable to complete the purchase. Trading of shares in all three companies had been suspended pending a resolution of the transaction.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index edged 0.1% lower to 26,110.15 while the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.5% to 3,603.62.

Some verbal assurances by government officials and loosening of home loans for some of its major banks suggest that the authorities are monitoring the property market risks, hoping to reassure markets of the knock-on impact on the economy,” said Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist at IG in Singapore.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei slipped 0.5% in morning trading to 29,121.33, as the world’s third largest economy headed into nationwide elections to select a new prime minister.

The candidate from Japan’s ruling party, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, has given mixed messages about his policies, and his new capitalism measures, which include promises to reduce income disparities. That has done little to reassure markets so far.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.3% to 7,434.60. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.2% to 3,019.15.

Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.67% from 1.65% late Wednesday.

The price of Bitcoin slipped to 64,795 after surpassing 66,000 for the first time on Wednesday. The gains came a day after the first exchange-traded fund linked to Bitcoin futures attracted huge interest from investors looking to get into the surging field of cryptocurrencies.

On Wednesday, solid earnings from health care companies helped send stocks higher on Wall Street.

The market has been gaining ground as investors shift their focus to the latest round of corporate earnings. Stocks have been choppy for weeks as rising inflation and lackluster economic data raised concerns about the path ahead for the economic recovery.

The S&P 500 rose 0.4% to 4,536.19, its sixth straight gain. That put it less than a point from an all-time high set on Sept 2.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% to 35,609.34. The Nasdaq fell less than 0.1%, to 15,121.68.

The reason we’re seeing this rally over the last week is that company earnings are looking really good, said Sylvia Jablonski, chief investment officer at Defiance ETFs. Most companies are managing inflationary pressures and pricing issues and that’s helping to alleviate concerns about overvaluation and inflation.

Wall Street cheered solid earnings from a variety of health care companies. Abbott Laboratories, which makes infant formula, medical devices and drugs, rose 3.3% after handily beating analysts’ third-quarter profit forecasts. Health insurer Anthem rose 7.7% after also reporting strong financial results. Technology stocks lagged the broader market.

Netflix fell 2.2% after forecasting earnings for its current quarter that were below analysts’ estimates.

PayPal fell 4.9% following reports that it is considering buying digital pinboard and shopping tool Pinterest, which jumped 12.8%.

Investors are busy reviewing the latest report cards from companies as they try to get a clearer understanding of how rising inflation and the lingering threat from COVID-19 will affect the economy.

A key concern remains supply chain disruptions and rising materials costs cutting into profits for many companies. Higher costs for companies could mean higher prices for consumers, which could threaten spending that is supporting the recovery.

Several large companies are still due to release their earnings this week. American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Union Pacific will report on Thursday.

In energy trading, benchmark US crude gained 13 cents to 83.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 3 cents to 85.79 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar fell to 114.22 Japanese yen from 114.27 yen. The euro cost 1.1665, up from 1.1651.

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