Wed, 11 Dec 2019

Instability in Hong Kong rocks Asian markets

Lola Evans
13 Nov 2019, 17:24 GMT+10

SYDNEY, Australia - Stocks dropped across the board in Asia on Wednesday, with the biggest loser being Hong Kong's Hang Seng.

Investors and traders remain confused about the prospects for a trade deal between China and the U.S. as the American president keeps changing direction in his narrative, as to prospects for a deal.

"I'm absolutely concerned. The clock is ticking," Mike McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney told Reuters Thomson on Wednesday..

"Markets are now expecting substantial progress in the next week or so, and if not, then confidence could crumble. There are diverging interpretations of Trump's comments. I tend to go with commodities like oil and copper because they are plugged in to global demand, so their fall is significant."

The other driver of Asian markets on Wednesday was the broadening civil unrest in Hong Kong. A decision was made on Wednesday that all schools across the province would close on Thursday due to security and transportation concerns.

In Hong Kong the Hang Seng plummeted 493.82 points or 1.82% to 26,571.46.

In Japan the Nikkei 225 closed 200.14 points or 0.85% lower at 23,319.87.

The Australian All Ordinaries was off 51.50 points or 0.75% at 6,805.80.

In China, the Shanghai Composite declined 10.59 points or 0.36% to 2,904.23.

On foreign exchange markets the U.S. dollar was softer. The euro moved up to 1.1013. The British pound edged higher to 1.2857. The Swiss franc firmed to 0.9908. The Japanese yen inched up to 109.07.

The Canadian dollar was a fraction higher at 1.3246. The Australian dollar rose to 0.6845. The New Zealand dollar was sharply higher rising more than 1% to 0.6403.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones index was down 5.96 points or 0.02% at 27,685.53.

The Standard and Poor's 500 climbed 4.35 points or 0.14% to 3,091.36.

The `Nasdaq Composite edged up 21.71 points or 0.26% to 8,485.98.

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