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Japan’s Nikkei 225 falls 2% as investors monitor Evergrande stocks


SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific declined in Tuesday morning trade as investors continue to monitor the situation surrounding embattled developer China Evergrande Group.

Japanese shares declined after they resumed trading on Monday following a holiday. The Nikkei 225 dropped 1.97% while the Topix index shed 1.68%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, which was dragged down by more than 3% on Monday amid investor fears around Evergrande, fell fractionally in Tuesday morning trade.

China Evergrande Group shares fell by more than 3 percent, but Hang Seng Properties’ index rose 0.95% to a partial recovery from Monday’s losses.

S&P Global Ratings credit analysts said in a report: “We believe Beijing would only be compelled to step in if there is a far-reaching contagion causing multiple major developers to fail and posing systemic risks to the economy,” according to the Monday report. This scenario would not be possible if Evergrande fails on its own.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 sat below the flatline.

The MSCI’s Asia-Pacific share index outside Japan was 0.1% less.

Monday is a holiday in South Korea and mainland China.

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Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 saw its worst day since May, dropping 1.7% to 4,357.73. Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 614.41 to 33,970.47 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.19% at 14,713.90.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.186 following its climb late last week from about 92.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.53 per dollar, having strengthened yesterday from around 110 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7262 as it struggles to recover after declining from above $0.73 last week.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.84% to $74.54 per barrel. U.S. crude futures Oil prices rose 0.91% to $70.93 a barrel.