Asia-Pacific Bond Risk Set to Drop This Month, Credit Swaps Show

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The cost of insuring corporate and sovereign bonds in the Asia-Pacific region from non-payment headed for a monthly decline, according to traders of credit-default swaps.

The Markit iTraxx Japan index dropped four basis points to 199.5 basis points as of 9:11 a.m. in Tokyo, Deutsche Bank AG prices show. The benchmark has fallen about 24 basis points in October, heading for its first monthly decline since June, according to Deutsche Bank and data provider CMA.

The Markit iTraxx Australia index decreased four basis points to 143 as of 11:11 a.m. in Sydney, according to Westpac Banking Corp. The measure is on track to fall 16 this month, its biggest decline since July, 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 slid one basis point to 123 as of 8:09 a.m. in Hong Kong, Credit Agricole SA prices show. The gauge is on track to fall about 13 basis points this month after ranging from 114.4 basis points and 134.6 in October, according to 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.

The swap contracts pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities if a borrower fails to meet its debt agreements.

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