SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Shares in Hong Kong tumbled again on Thursday, dragging most of the Asian region's bourses down.
The financial struggles of China Evergrande Group, burdened with over $300 billion in debt was the major focus Thursday, following on from a precipitous fall in Macau gaming stocks a day earlier, due to tightening Chinese regulatory supervision.
The Chinese property developer appears to be in its final days, with Standard and Poor's providing a rating downgrade to the point of suggesting an imminent default. The embattled real estate giant is facing interest and principal payments next week which it is unlikely to be able to make. If it fails, China Evergrande will be the largest corporate default inHong Kong's history.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down more than 500 points at one stage as Evergrande approached a double-digit percentage fall.
The index however recovered to be down 375.15 points or 1.50 percent at 24,658.06.
China's Shanghai Composite dropped 49.13 points or 1.34 percent to 3,607.09.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 shed 188.37 points or 0.62 percent to 30,323.34.
The Australian All Ordinaries, going against the regional trend, gained 36.60 points or 0.47 percent to 7,759.80.
The U.S. dollar perked up Thursday against the euro, rising to 1,1788 by the Sydney close. The British pound edged down to 1.3827. The Swiss franc weakened to 0.9211.
The Canadian dollar was little changed at 1.2638. The Australian dollar edged down to 0.7320. The New Zealand dollar was little moved at 0.7114.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones jumped 236.82 points or 0.68 percent, to close Wednesday at 34,814.39, Business Sun reported.
The Nasdaq Composite gained 123.77 points or 0.82 percent to 15,161.53.
The Standard and Poor's 500 added 37.65 points or 0.85 percent to 4,480.70.