Asian shares sink as hong kong tensions spoil the festive mood

Asian share markets fell on Thursday as concerns that tensions over Hong Kong may stymie a US-China trade deal cast a pall over thanksgiving cheer from positive US economic data.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law legislation backing pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

China’s foreign ministry promptly warned of unspecified “firm countermeasures” in response and summoned the US ambassador in Beijing.

That put a lid on steady gains this week for MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-pacific shares outside Japan. The benchmark fell 0.2% on Thursday.

Japan’s Nikkei, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Shanghai blue chips. CSI200 flitted in and out of positive territory but turned negative by the afternoon.

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 fell 0.3%, while Eurostoxx 50 futures stxec1 fell 0.2%.

The US-China tensions over Hong Kong were shrugged off in the antipodes, though, with Australia’s s&P/ASX 200 and New Zealand’s NZ50 following wall street’s march to hit record intraday highs.

The next round of US tariffs on Chinese goods is due to take effect on Dec. 15.

Wall Street indexes minted fresh records overnight, buoyed by trade deal hopes and data showing US economic growth picked up slightly in the third quarter, rather than slowing as first reported.

The DOW Jones industrial average rose 0.15%, the S&P 500 gained 0.42% and the NASDAQ  added 0.66%. US markets are closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday.

Other data showed the number of Americans filing claims for jobless benefits fell. There are signs the downturn in business investment may be drawing to a close and the US federal reserve said the outlook was bright.

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