Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed in Monday trade. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped by more than 2% following its return from a Friday holiday.
Remarkably, as of its final hour of trading, the Hang Seng index was down 2.24%.
Furthermore, trading in shares of China’s property developer giant Evergrande was halted. The move came as investor concern surrounding the indebted company returned.
Meanwhile, trading in the shares of Evergrande Property Services was also suspended. The company reported in an exchange filing that there’s an impending announcement regarding a possible general offer for the company’s shares.
The shares of Hopson another Chinese property developer were also halted. Hopson reported in a filing that it has suspended its shares pending a “major transaction” under which it has agreed to get the shares of another firm.
Investors are watching the situation surrounding the debt worries of Evergrande. As we know, the company has missed two bond interest payments past few weeks.
Merck announced its new COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment, reducing the risk of death
Moreover, shares in Asia were mixed after Merck reported its new COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment that reduces the risk of hospitalization or death.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.13% to settle at 28,444.89. Meanwhile, the Topix index declined 0.62% to end the trading day at 1,973.92.
Australian stocks increased on the day, with the S&P/ASX 200 surging 1.29% to settle at 7,278.50.
Furthermore, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, dropped around 0.3%.
Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics stated on Friday that they’ve developed a drug that cuts the risk of hospitalization or death by about 50% in COVID patients. If authorized, it could be the first oral antiviral medicine for coronavirus.
Remarkably, the firms plan to seek emergency authorization for the drug after the medicine showed compelling results in clinical trials.
As we know, markets in China are shut for most of this week for a holiday. They are set to reopen on October 8. South Korean markets were also shut on October 4 for a holiday.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of its rivals, was at 94.002 after a recent fall from above 94.4.
Meanwhile, the safe-haven Japanese yen traded at 111.11 per dollar, stronger than levels about 112 seen versus the dollar last week. The risk-sensitive Australian dollar changed hands at $0.726 following a bounce late last week from about $0.72.
Oil prices dipped in Asia trading hours. International benchmark Brent crude futures fell 0.52% to settle at $78.87 per barrel. U.S. crude futures dropped 0.57% to close at $75.45 per barrel.