Asian markets are mixed. Chinese shares suspended Evergrande

Asian markets are mixed.  Chinese shares suspended Evergrande

Asian markets were mixed on Monday, with the benchmark Hong Kong index down more than 2% after shares of troubled real estate developer China Evergrande were suspended.

China Evergrande did not say why it had stopped trading its shares, but Chinese financial news service Cailian said another major developer was planning to buy Evergrande’s property management unit.

Evergrande is struggling to make payments on more than $300 billion in debt as it suffers a cash crunch caused by tighter Chinese government restrictions on debt financing.

The Hang Seng fell 2.5% to 2396.25, while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 1.1% to 28444.89. Shares fell 1% in Taiwan.

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Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.3% to 7,246.10. On Friday, her government outlined plans to lift the pandemic ban on its vaccinated citizens traveling abroad from November, although it has not yet opened its doors to international travelers.

Markets are closed for holidays in Shanghai and South Korea.

Crude oil prices fell slightly ahead of the meeting of major oil producers. There was no indication that a pipeline leak off the coast of California had an impact on prices.

An estimated 126,000 gallons (572,807 liters) of heavy crude oil is believed to have leaked from an offshore underwater pipeline from Orange County. By late Sunday, the leak was reported to have stopped.

The environmental impact would likely have been much worse than any impact on overall oil supplies. The amount spilled was about 3,000 barrels, while the United States produces more than 18 million barrels of crude oil per day.

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The price of benchmark US crude oil fell 30 cents to $75.49 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 85 cents to $75.88 a barrel on Friday.

Brent crude, the international benchmark for pricing, lost 38 cents to $78.90 a barrel.

Oil prices were hovering at 3-year highs after Hurricane Ida hit a critical port that serves as a key support hub for the deepwater oil and gas industry in the US Gulf of Mexico, worsening the supply situation, at least temporarily.

OPEC and other major oil producers were affected by the deep production cuts in 2020 during the depths of the pandemic and slowly increased production.

Mizuho Bank said in a comment that members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, scheduled to meet on Monday, may consider raising production levels to meet rising demand.

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Wall Street rebounded on Friday, led by companies that would benefit the most from a healthier economy. The S&P 500 rose 1.1% to 4,357.04. But US markets are still experiencing their worst week since winter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.4% to 3,4326.46. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.8% to 14566.70.

Merck & Co jumped 8.4% after it said its experimental COVID-19 pill cut hospital admissions and deaths in half. Expectations of an additional tool to tame the pandemic helped lift shares of airlines, hotels and companies affected by restrictions on travel and other activities.

The S&P 500 is still dropping to a weekly loss of 2.2%, its worst since February. The rapid rise in interest rates earlier this week shook the market and forced a reassessment of whether stocks had grown too expensive.

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The yield on the 10-year Treasury was flat on Monday at 1.47%.

September was also the worst month for the S&P 500 since March 2020, when markets slumped as the COVID-19 lockdown continued.

Among the concerns that have weighed on the market: the Federal Reserve is close to allowing the accelerator to support markets, economic data has been mixed recently in the wake of rising coronavirus cases, corporate tax rates may be set to rise and political turmoil continues in Washington.

In currency trading, the dollar rose to 111.03 yen from 110.96 yen late Friday. The euro rose to $1.1605 from $1.1600.

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