Russian Federation Ratings Cut to Junk by S&P

Asia-Pacific Bond Risk Falls, Credit-Default Swap Prices Show

The cost of insuring corporate and sovereign bonds from non-payment in the Asia-Pacific region fell, according to traders of credit-default swaps.

The Markit iTraxx Japan index dropped 4.5 basis points to 181 basis points as of 9:19 a.m. in Tokyo, Citigroup Inc. prices show. The benchmark is on track for its lowest close in more than two months, according to CMA.

The Markit iTraxx Australia index decreased 2 basis points to 143 as of 11:25 a.m. in Sydney, according to Credit Agricole SA. The gauge is set for its lowest close since Nov. 7, or almost two weeks, according to CMA, which is owned by McGraw- Hill Cos. and compiles prices quoted by dealers in the privately negotiated market.

The Markit iTraxx Asia index of 40 investment-grade borrowers outside Japan fell 2 to 121 basis points as of 8:32 a.m. in Hong Kong, Westpac Banking Corp. prices show. The measure is on course for its lowest close since Nov. 8, according to data provider CMA.

Credit-default swap indexes are benchmarks for insuring bonds against default and traders use them to speculate on credit quality. A drop signals improving perceptions of creditworthiness, while an increase suggests the opposite.

The swap contracts pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities if a borrower fails to meet its debt agreements. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shelley Smith at

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