Protests in Hong Kong began in opposition of a bill allowing extraditions to mainland China. The protests forced the closure of Hong Kong’s International airport.
The airport which happens to be one of the busiest airports in the world suspended check-in services for the second day on Tuesday, after what had begun as a peaceful occupation grew to chaos. The chaos broke after Hong Kong protesters seized a man, allegedly a mainland Chinese officer. The airport police responded by firing pepper spray.
Global investors are particularly concerned about how China will handle the protests, especially after the Chinese government termed the protests as “terrorism,” suggesting the possibility of harsh countermeasures. Stocks in Asia dropped significantly amid the crisis.
Marketwatch notes that Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.51% fell 1.7%, while Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +0.75% dropped 1.1%. The effects of the protests have spilled over to Taiwan, Singapore, and Indonesia, where benchmark indexes in these three countries all showing a drop. South Korea and Australia registered surges with giants like Samsung and Beach Energy manifesting a decline.
The anxiety among global investors continues to rise with strained China-US relationships after Trump threatened to increase tariffs on Chinese goods.
This trend and the ongoing uncertainties in China have seen slips in the S&P 500 index on Wall Street, followed by massive selling and a nearly 400 point loss in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. This trend, together with the increase in investment in Government bonds in the U.S, show that investors are seeking a safe haven for their money.
Europe seems to benefit from the strained relationship between China and the U.S. Europe’s technology sector rose by 1% after the U.S declared that tariffs on electronics would delay until 15th December.