Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The cost of insuring corporate bonds in Japan against non-payment fell, according to credit-default swap traders.
The Markit iTraxx Asia index of 40 investment-grade borrowers outside Japan fell 1 basis point to 194.5 basis points as of 8:44 a.m. in Hong Kong, Credit Agricole SA prices show.
The Markit iTraxx Australia index fell 1 basis point to 185 as of 11:47 a.m. in Sydney, according to Credit Agricole.
The Markit iTraxx Japan index was unchanged at 187 basis points as of 9:42 a.m. in Tokyo, Deutsche Bank AG prices show.
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.
--Bloomberg News, with assistance from Henry Sanderson in Beijing. Editor: Pavel Alpeyev
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