Thursday, 5 December 2019

Asian shares give up gains as Hong Kong chaos hits sentiment

Photo: Reuters UK

SYDNEY: Asian shares reversed gains on Monday, the yen ticked higher and gold jumped as fresh violence broke out in Hong Kong, while uncertainty still remained over whether the United States and China could end their damaging trade war.

Hong Kong s Hang Seng index .HSI led the losses in Asia, down more than 1%, after police fired live rounds at protestors on the eastern side of Hong Kong island. Cable TV and other Hong Kong media reported at least one protester being wounded. Video footage showed a protester lying in a pool of blood.

Chinese shares too started lower with the blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 down 0.6%. South Korea s KOSPI .KS11 lost 0.7%

Japan s Nikkei .N225 gave up early gains to drift away from a recent 13-month high after data showed the country s core machinery orders fell for a third straight month.

Australian shares bucked the downbeat trend, rising 0.5% to a two-week high.

That left MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS down 0.5%.

“The China-U.S. trade war and the Hong Kong protest are combining to cast a negative pall on Asian markets today,” said James McGlew, analyst at stockbroking firm Argonaut.

“Hong Kong protests have been dragging on for a while and the view from the financial world is that it’s really starting to bite now. The further this drags on it’s certainly going to be very negative.”

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