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

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

The Markit iTraxx Asia index of 40 investment-grade borrowers outside Japan tumbled 5 basis points to 150 basis points as of 8:17 a.m. in Hong Kong, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. prices show. The benchmark is set for its lowest close since Sept. 26, according to data provider CMA.

The Markit iTraxx Australia index fell 4 basis points to 118 as of 10:11 a.m. in Sydney, according to Westpac Banking Corp. prices. The measure is poised for its biggest decline since Sept. 19, according to data from CMA, which is owned by McGraw-Hill Cos. and compiles prices quoted by dealers in the private market.

The Markit iTraxx Japan index retreated 3 basis points to 92 as of 9:21 a.m. in Tokyo, according to Citigroup Inc. prices. The gauge is set for its lowest level since Sept. 23, CMA data show.

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.

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