Most Asia Markets Up But Hong Kong Hit As Evergrande Trade Suspended

Hong Kong stocks fell on Monday due to fears about the troubled property firm China Evergrande, while most other Asian markets rallied following a strong lead from Wall Street.

The problem at Evergrande, which is drowning in a sea of debt totaling more than $300 billion, has roiled markets in recent weeks, with fears that its failure would spill over into the larger Chinese economy and maybe farther.

The trading halt was called “waiting the release by the Company of an announcement containing inside knowledge about a big transaction,” according to the firm’s statement.

The announcement came as allegations surfaced that Hopson Development Holdings intended to acquire a 51 percent share in its property services division.

However, traders are fearful that Evergrande would fail to make bond payments, putting it in default.

“There is still very little visibility from the Chinese government on Evergrande’s fate, albeit a slow and deliberate dismantling of the company looks to be the preferred course for now,” said OANDA’s Jeffrey Halley.

Hong Kong equities, which were already under pressure due to concerns about China’s crackdown on a variety of industries, including tech firms and casinos, fell more than 2%.

Tokyo lost 1.1 percent, marking the sixth consecutive loss, while Taipei also dipped.

Nonetheless, advances were recorded in Sydney, Singapore, Wellington, Bangkok, Mumbai, Manila, and Jakarta. The cities of Shanghai and Seoul were closed for public holidays.

London, Paris, and Frankfurt all started the day lower.

Global markets had a turbulent September as a result of rising inflationary fears, soaring viral infections that are impeding economic recovery, and political deadlock in Washington that is dragging the United States towards a financially disastrous debt default.

Meanwhile, Democrats continue to squabble over Joe Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure and social-care spending measure, putting it in jeopardy.

The Federal Reserve’s decision to end its ultra-easy monetary policy, as well as signals that interest rates could be raised as early as next year, have added to the gloom.

The release of US jobs statistics on Friday will be eagerly monitored for new insights into the health of the world’s largest economy, with a strong report increasing pressure on the Fed to act sooner rather than later.

“Markets begin the fourth quarter in what is likely to be the most unsettled situation of the year,” said Julian Emanuel, a strategist at brokerage BTIG. “The end of 2021 is shaping up to be rather intriguing.”

Oil fell ahead of a meeting between OPEC and its key allies to decide whether to increase oil output in an effort to cool hot global energy prices.

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