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Japan’s Nikkei 225 drops nearly 2%; Evergrande shares tumble on return to trade in Hong Kong

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Thursday, as investors monitored shares of developer China Evergrande Group in Hong Kong.

Evergrande shares dropped 12.88%, returning to trade on Thursday after a halt that lasted more than two weeks.

The debt-laden firm announced in an exchange filing late Wednesday that a deal to sell a 50.1% stake in its property services business to another developer Hopson had fallen through.

Evergrande, which has already missed multiple coupon payments for its bonds, also warned “there is no guarantee that the Group will be able to meet its financial obligations under the relevant financing documents and other contracts.”

Shares of Evergrande Property Services Group, which also resumed trading on Thursday, plunged 8.01%, while Hopson shares jumped more than 12%. The Hang Seng Properties index climbed 1.73%.

The broader Hang Seng index in Hong Kong slipped 0.76% as of its final hour of trading. Mainland Chinese stocks closed mixed, with the Shanghai composite up 0.22% to 3,594.78 while the Shenzhen component dipped fractionally to 14,444.86.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 led losses among the region’s markets as it slipped 1.87% to close at 28,708.58 while the Topix index fell 1.32% to 2,000.81. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.19% lower, closing at 3,007.33.

Australian stocks were little changed as the S&P/ASX 200 closed largely flat at 7,415.40.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan nudged 0.44% lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 152.03 points overnight to 35,609.34 after touching an all-time high earlier in the session. The S&P 500 advanced 0.37% to 4,536.19 while the Nasdaq Composite lagged, slipping fractionally to 15,121.68.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.673 — still off levels above 94 seen earlier this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 114.04 per dollar after strengthening from above 114.4 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7486, holding on to gains after climbing from below $0.744 earlier this week.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slipping 0.68% to $85.24 per barrel. U.S. crude futures were fell 0.43% to $83.06 per barrel.

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