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Asian shares were mixed across the region on Tuesday as investors fretted over China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis and a widening power shortage in China.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was just slightly higher by mid-afternoon after trading in the red following a mixed session on Wall Street.
During the Asian time zone, Brent crude oil hit $80 a barrel for the first time in three years, driven by regional economies beginning to reopen from the pandemic and supply concerns.
The dollar was trading flat in late Asian trading.
Yields on two-year Treasuries rose to 18-month highs as investors priced in the prospect of rising cash rates and the risk of persistent inflation, forcing the U.S government to pay more to sell its debt.
Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down nearly 1.42%, led by a sell off in healthcare and technology stocks, while Japan’s Nikkei was down 0.3% after halving its initial losses.
The yen slumped to an almost three-month low to the dollar and a two-week trough versus the euro on Tuesday, as rising bond yields in the U.S. and Europe lured Japanese investors.
The yen lost about 0.2% to 111.21 per dollar, a level not seen since July 2.
It weakened about the same amount to 130.07 to the single currency after earlier touching 130.115 for the first time since Sept. 14.
The yen also weakened ahead of a ruling party election on Wednesday that will decide Japan’s new prime minister, with frontrunners Taro Kono and Fumio Kishida both backing more stimulus to support the pandemic recovery.
While benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond yields remain pinned near zero by the Bank of Japan’s yield curve control policy, equivalent U.S. Treasury yields have soared to a three-month high, touching 1.516% overnight.
German 10-year bund yields, while below those on JGBs, have catapulted to the highest since the start of July at minus 0.191% from as low as minus 0.340% just a week ago.
A fire that damaged two Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc battery units at a huge energy storage project in Australia in July was caused by a coolant leak that went undetected during start-up tests, a state watchdog said in a report released on Tuesday.
Safety regulators on Tuesday cleared the so-called Victoria Big Battery project, run by French renewables firm Neoen SA, to resume testing at the site near Melbourne.
However the safety regulator Energy Safe Victoria said it will now determine whether there have been any breaches of the state’s electricity safety rules and “if so, whether enforcement action is warranted”.
Neoen said it is working with Tesla to ensure the 450 megawatt hour energy storage project is ready for the Australian summer, which begins in December. Testing will resume on Wednesday.
“We have taken the time to understand the cause of the incident and we have implemented actions to ensure it will not happen again,” Neoen Australia Managing Director Louis de Sambucy said.
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