SYDNEY, AAP – Shares were higher by about half a per cent on the Australian market after troubled Chinese property group Evergrande said it would pay bond interest.

The mining giants and energy providers had big jumps after investors were comforted by the news on Wednesday about Evergrande’s ability to pay its debts.

The company’s main unit Hengda Real Estate said it would make a bond interest payment on Thursday.

However, Evergrande has many more debts to pay. Revelations this month of the precarious financial state have sparked fears many banks, property groups and suppliers around the world will incur damage.

Most of the big four banks on the ASX were trading lower.


Top Australian Brokers


The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 38.4 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 7312.2.

The All Ordinaries was up by 43.4 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 7606.5.

Earlier US markets closed little changed ahead of US Federal Reserve policy decisions on Thursday.

Investors are waiting for the end of the Fed meeting, which may shed light on when its massive purchase of government debt will begin to ease.

Officials will reveal new projections for interest rate tightening.

In company news, Westpac confirmed it will no longer go ahead with selling its Pacific businesses.

Papua New Guinea’s competition watchdog recently stopped the sale of Westpac Fiji and Westpac PNG to Kina Securities.

The bank said it would run these businesses while assessing other exit options.

Westpac shares lost 0.87 per cent to $24.97.

In mining, BHP gained 2.56 per cent to $38.72. Fortescue rose 4.54 per cent to $15.42. Rio Tinto climbed 3.11 per cent to $98.69.

Energy provider AGL said it would not face a “second strike” over executive pay.

Investors at the company’s annual general meeting supported the latest pay deal.

Shares were up 2.44 per cent to $5.65.

Other energy providers doing well on the market were Beach, which gained 5.34 per cent to $1.13. Woodside rose by three per cent to $21.55.

Buy now, pay later provider Zip is paying $US50 million for a stake in Indian operator ZestMoney.

Zip will have a minority shareholding in ZestMoney, which has 11 million registered users.

Shares in Zip were up 2.4 per cent to $6.39.

The Australian dollar was buying 72.54 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower than 72.73 US cents at Tuesday’s close.