Hong Kong Stocks Free Fall as Police Shoot Protester

Hong Kong Stocks Free Fall as Police Shoot Protester

HONG KONG – Hong Kong stocks endured its largest one-day fall in three months as police shot one protestor, and the city’s transport system remained chaotic.

Hong Kong’s share index suffered an almost three percent loss while the Hang Seng (HSI) benchmark closed 2.6 down as protests continue their strike, and transportation continues to be disrupted on the island.

The HSI had the biggest drop in the Asian market and went below 27,000 points. It’s the first time it went down that barrier since November 1. The Shanghai Composite Index went down by 1.8% to 2,910. It was its worst drop in the past four months. Meanwhile, the Shenzhen Composite Index dived 2.26% to 1,611.45. It was also its worst performance since September 26.

The 2.6% drop in the benchmark is the lowest since the start of August when all but one of Hang Seng’s stocks dipped on the day.

The stock market was already on shaky ground after US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he hasn’t agreed to the tariff rollback on Chinese goods. Brock Silvers, the Managing Director at Adamas Asset Management, believes China’s and Hong Kong’s equity markets are lucky they only dropped that far.

According to Jim McCafferty, an HK-based equity researcher, said the six months of local protests is impacting companies and the island’s economy. He added that “geographically-agnostic investors” will likely prefer geopolitically safe countries like Japan.

Protests have been ongoing in Hong Kong for months, and these have occasionally turned violent. However, the recent police shooting of a student has rattled citizens and investors alike.

Hong Kong police have confirmed the use of live fire and that one man had been shot. A video of the shooting has been making the rounds on social media. Another viral video that’s being circulated reportedly shows protesters pouring liquid on a man before setting him on fire.

Police are currently investigating the incident.

Stocks on retail and property were hit hard on Monday. Shares in companies like New World Development, Sun Hung Kai Properties, Swire Pacific, and Wharf Real Estate Investment all dropped by four and seven percent.

Three of the Shanghai benchmark’s biggest movers closed with losses. The Agricultural Bank of China was down by 1.7% to rest at 3.55 yuan while the Industrial and Commercial bank of China hit 5.77 yuan when it also dropped by 1.7%. Meanwhile, Kweichow Moutai did slightly better as it declined by just 0.5% to 1,999 yuan.

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