Australia Markets close in 1 hr 25 mins

Asian Markets Fall; Hong Kong Tension Escalates as Protestors Occupy Airport - Asian markets fell in morning trade on Tuesday with Hong Kong stocks down more than 1.5% amid continuing political unrest in the city.

The Hang Seng Index last traded at 25,428 by 10:50 PM ET (02:50 GMT), down 1.55%. Hong Kong’s airport reopened today after halting all flights on Monday as protestors occupied the arrival halls for the past few days, although reports suggested the occupying have been peaceful.

The airport said flights will be rescheduled today, but flights movements are expected to be limited. Cathay Pacific Airways Limited (HK:0293) stated that it had cancelled over 200 flights today, according to the website.

On Monday, protestors again blamed police for using excessive force as they fired tear gas and bean bag pellets at close range. Meanwhile, Hong Kong and Macau Affairs office spokesman Yang Guang said on the same day in a press conference that protestors “have been frequently using extremely dangerous tools to attack the police in recent days, constituting serious crimes with sprouts of terrorism emerging.”

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component traded 0.7% and 0.9% lower. Although not a directional driver, data showed foreign direct investment in China gained 7.3% from a year ago in the first seven months of the year.

South Korea’s KOSPI was down 0.7%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 dropped 0.3%. A survey showed the country’s National Australia Bank’s index of business conditions was down 2 points to +2 in July.

"The decline in business conditions since early 2018 has been broad-based and has continued to track at below average levels in recent months," said NAB group chief economist Alan Oster.

"This is concerning, because while conditions remain positive, it points to a significant loss in momentum in the business sector,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Singapore slashed its forecast of 2019 full year GDP growth to zero to 1% from the previous 1.5% to 2.5%. Second-quarter GDP fell 3.3% quarter-on-quarter, more than the expected 2.9%.

“Looking ahead, GDP growth in many of Singapore’s key final demand markets in the second half of 2019 is expected to slow from, or remain similar to, that recorded in the first half,” the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Related Articles

Hong Kong Stocks Resume Retreat as Protest Fallout Deepens

Tencent-Backed Kuaishou, Baidu Invest $434 Million in Zhihu

Cathay Shares Resume Slide as Flight Cancellations Compound Woes