Asian markets fall as Hong Kong violence escalates, trade tensions linger
Asian markets fell in early trading Monday amid trade tensions between the U.S. and China and escalating violence in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong police on Monday shot at least one protester as demonstrators blocked subway lines and roads during the morning commute. Police tried to disperse crowds with pepper spray and tear gas. Hong Kong is in the sixth month of protests that began over a proposed extradition law and have expanded to include demands for greater democracy and police accountability.
On the trade front, President Donald Trump on Friday shot down speculation of a rollback on tariffs, saying he has not yet agreed to remove tariffs on Chinese goods, though Beijing would like him to.
“President Trump’s comments sounded more like a negotiating tactic than an actual threat, and Wall Street seemed to agree,” wrote Jeffrey Halley, senior Asia-Pacific market analyst at Oanda, in a note Sunday, noting Wall Street closed at record highs Friday.
Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.26% gave up early gains and fell 0.3%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -2.62% tumbled 2.6%. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -1.83% slid 1.8% following data that China’s consumer inflation soared to its highest point in nearly eight years in October.