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

The cost of insuring Asia-Pacific corporate and sovereign bonds from default declined, according to traders of credit-default swaps.

The Markit iTraxx Australia index slid 2 basis points to 152 basis points as of 11:28 a.m. in Sydney, according to Westpac Banking Corp. The gauge is set for its lowest close since Sept. 19, according to data provider CMA.

The Markit iTraxx Asia index of 40 investment-grade borrowers outside Japan fell 1 to 129 as of 8:40 a.m. in Hong Kong, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc prices show. The benchmark is also headed for its lowest close since Sept. 19, according to CMA, which is owned by CME Group Inc. and compiles prices quoted by dealers in the privately negotiated market.

Markets are closed in Japan for a national holiday.

Credit-default swap indexes are benchmarks for protecting 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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