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HONG KONG, March 9 (IFR) - Asian credits were little changed on Friday as trading remained focused on ChemChina bonds ahead of the release of U.S. payrolls data for February later in the day.
The iTraxx Asia ex-Japan investment-grade index was 3bp tighter at 66.2bp/67.0bp on news that Washington and Pyongyang might have their first-ever summit later this year, raising hopes of a breakthrough in the North Korean nuclear standoff.
“Trades were dominated by the ChemChina bonds again today, while IG perps continue to underperform,” said a Hong Kong-based trader.
There was strong buying of ChemChina’s new bonds, pushing them a further 10bp tighter early this morning after yesterday’s performance due to short-covering, the trader said.
However, the gains narrowed to 3bp-4bp in the afternoon on most of the tranches and the 3-year notes even lost all the gains.
Performances of new issues priced last night were mixed. Shimao Property’s 5.75% 3-year non-call two Dim Sum bonds, priced at par, traded up to 100.20/100.30.
Both Tewoo Group’s US$450m 5.80% senior non-call three perps and the Philippines lender Rizal Commercial Banking Corp’s US$300m 4.125% 2023s were hovering at reoffer.
Meanwhile, HNA Group’s sale of another land parcel in Hong Kong’s Kai Tak area had little positive effect on its bonds. Its 8.875% 2018s, issued in last November, were unchanged at 98.125/98.625. (Reporting by Carol Chan; Editing by Dharsan Singh)