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Associated Press

Oct. 21, 2021, 11:58 p.m. EDT

Asian markets gain as Evergrande makes overdue bond payment

By Associated Press

Asian shares gained Friday after a late-in-the-day wave of buying pushed the S&P 500 to a fresh record high.

Benchmarks rose in Hong Kong and Tokyo but fell in Sydney and Shanghai.

An official newspaper, the Securities Times, said China Evergrande Group (HKG:HK:3333) made an overdue bond payment on Friday . The property developer’s struggle to reduce its 2 trillion yuan ($310 billion) of debt to comply with tighter official curbs on borrowing has prompted fears a default might trigger a financial crisis.

Evergrande wired $83.5 million to account for a bond payment that was due Sept. 23, the report said. The company’s Hong Kong-traded shares gained 5%.

The Hang Seng (HONG:HK:HSI) in Hong Kong climbed 0.5% and the Shanghai Composite index (SHG:CN:SHCOMP) incher 0.1% higher.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 (NIKKEI:JP:NIK) added 0.8% while the Kospi (KOREA:KR:180721) in Seoul gained 0.2%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 (S&P:AU:XJO) was flat. Stocks gained in Singapore (SES:SG:STI) , but were about flat in Taiwan (TAIWAN:TW:Y9999) and Indonesia (INDONESIA:ID:JAKIDX) .

On Wall Street on Thursday, the benchmark S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) bounced back from an early slide to rise 0.3% to 4,549.78, its seventh straight gain. That eclipsed the record high it set on Sept. 2. It is on pace for its third straight weekly gain.

The Dow (DOW:DJIA) slipped less than 0.1%, to 35,603.08, pulled lower by IBM’s 9.6% slump after it reported quarterly revenue that fell shy of analysts’ forecasts. It is just below its all-time high set on Aug. 16.

The Nasdaq (NASDAQ:COMP) gained 0.6% to 15,215.70.

The uneven finish came as investors continued to review the latest company earnings reports, with global supply chain problems and the impact from rising inflation a key focus. Many companies have warned that the supply chain issues and overall higher costs will hurt operations and Wall Street is trying to gauge just how much it will sting corporate profit growth and margins.

Bond yields moved higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.68% from 1.69% late Thursday.

Outside of earnings, investors received an encouraging update on the labor market. The Labor Department reported that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to a new low point since the pandemic erupted.

In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil lost 32 cents to $82.18 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gave up 92 cents to $82.50 per barrel on Thursday.

Brent crude , used as a standard for global pricing, shed 43 cents to $84.18 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar (XTUP:USDJPY) rose to 114.08 Japanese yen from 113.99 yen late Thursday.

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