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Japan’s Nikkei 225 falls 2% as investors continue to monitor Evergrande fallout

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

Japanese stocks declined as they returned to trade following a Monday 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.

Shares of China Evergrande Group fell more than 3%, while the Hang Seng Properties index climbed 0.95%, bouncing back partially 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. “Evergrande failing alone would unlikely result in such a scenario.”

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

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.1% lower.

Markets in mainland China and South Korea are closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

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

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 advanced 0.91% to $70.93 per barrel.

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