February 12, 2016 / 8:28 AM / 2 years ago

ASIA CREDIT CLOSE: Markets end tough week on back foot

HONG KONG, Feb 12 (IFR) - Asian markets continued to slide as Chinese equities sold off and bonds were bid mostly wider as a tumultuous week came to an end.

Shanghai and Shenzhen were down 0.6% and 1.2%, respectively, but the big crash came in Japan where the Nikkei tumbled 4.8%. The fall brought the Nikkei to a 16-month low after a 14% loss in the last five days.

The Hang Seng lost 1.0% after falling 3.3% in the previous session, the first day back from the Lunar New Year holidays. MSCI's Asia all shares ex-Japan was down 1.8%.

However, there was better news for commodities, with Brent Crude rising 4.56%% to 31.59. The star performer though appears to be gold, which has seen its price soar 19% since January 1.

Credit markets were also subdued as traders maintained that considerable cash remained on the sidelines, with accounts too nervous even to buy into safer assets.

The iTraxx Asia ex-Japan investment grade jumped 12bp to 177.67/179.67.

Regional sovereign bonds also saw a degree of weakness, with yield on the Singaporean 10-year 8bp wider and that on the South Korean 10-year 4bp wider. Taiwanese 10-year notes were the main regional outlier, having tightened 3bp.

Chinese Additional Tier 1 notes recovered slightly after a late sell-off yesterday. China Construction Bank's AT1s, which were some of the hardest hit, rose to 95.750 from 94.635. They were trading as high as 100.55 last week, according to Tradeweb. spencer.anderson@thomsonreuters.com

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