Equity markets rose on Monday following a broadly positive lead from Wall Street, while investors kept a nervous eye on developments in the crisis at troubled Chinese property giant Evergrande as it teeters on the brink. Hong Kong was among the best performers on bargain-buying after suffering a blow-out last week, though traders were still none the wiser about whether Evergrande paid interest on an offshore bond that was due last Thursday. While concerns about an economically disastrous collapse of the firm have abated for now, analysts warned there was a long way to go before markets were out of the woods. Reports at the weekend said that Chinese authorities had ordered local housing chiefs to put the company’s cash in ring fenced accounts to make sure it is used to pay to complete construction projects. Observers said that the move showed homeowners were taking priority for the government as it tries to temper social anger. However, Beijing has remained largely silent on the crisis, leaving many to guess what its plans are. In early trade, Hong Kong, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Wellington, Manila and Jakarta were all in positive territory, though Shanghai dipped. Tokyo rose, days ahead of a leadership election in Japan’s ruling party to replace Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, with optimism that the winner will push for a huge new stimulus package for the stuttering economy. Still, Shane Oliver, at AMP Capital, warned: “Global fears around contagion from Evergrande have receded a bit but it’s too early to sound all clear. “Shares remain vulnerable to short-term volatility.” The upbeat start to the week followed gains for the S&P 500 and Dow in New York, where dealers have taken in stride the Federal Reserve’s plan to start tapering its ultra-loose monetary policy.