Asian markets fell in early trading Monday amid continued 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, -0.19% gave up early gains and was last down 0.2%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -2.10% tumbled 2%. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -1.22% slid 1.2% and the Shenzhen Composite 399106, -1.61% fell 1.6% following data that China’s consumer inflation soared to its highest point in nearly eight years in October. South Korea’s Kospi 180721, -0.44% declined 0.5%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, -1.30% , Singapore STI, -0.48% and Indonesia JAKIDX, -0.60% edged down. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.56% gained 0.5%.
Among individual stocks, Honda 7267, +4.00% gained in Tokyo trading while Rakuten 4755, -1.96% and robotics maker Fanuc 6954, -1.39% fell. In Hong Kong, New World Development 17, -4.35% , AAC Technologies 2018, -3.97% and casino operator Galaxy Entertainment 27, -3.17% sank. SK Hynix 000660, -1.34% dropped in South Korea and Foxconn 2354, -1.64% fell in Taiwan. Rio Tinto RIO, -2.70% declined in Australia while National Australia Bank NAB, +1.30% rose.