SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea saw its shares dropping by 1.5% as the week ended. Apprehension about the future of a US-China trade deal and the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong has pushed foreign investors into selling local equities.
Asian stocks slipped down as investors wait for China’s next move against America. US President Donald Trump recently signed the bill supporting Hong Kong’s demonstrators despite hints he would not.
The KOSPI slid 1.45%, or 30.63 points, at 2,087.96. It’s the lowest the benchmark has closed in four weeks. Foreign investors were the net sellers or around $382.34 million worth of stocks on the primary board.
Japan’s Nikkei skidded 0.49%, or 115.23 points, to hit 23,293.91. The index had already fallen 28.63 points on Thursday. The Topix also dropped by 0.5% after the country’s industrial production saw its biggest decrease in two years. The shrinking production emphasized how much its economy has been impacted by the trade tensions between China and the US.
China’s Shanghai and Shenzen-listed shares wasn’t spared and went down 1.3% while the Hang Seng Index dropped by 2.1%. It’s the Hong Kong benchmark’s largest fall in fourteen days.
Hong Kong is gearing up for more protests this weekend. Territory police claimed they would pull out from a university today. The site is where the most violent encounters between the two opposing groups in almost half a year of protest.
The Thanksgiving holiday also left investors across Asia in the dark as Wall Street took a short break. The half-day of trading saw US treasuries flat and the S&P 500 expected to slip by 0.3%.
The dip in the Asian market isn’t unexpected. However, it did derail the global market which was set to hit an all-time high. However, tensions between China and the US turned investors cautious once more.
The MSCI All Country index went down 0.39% at 548.48. It was just 0.4% away from the peak it reached in January 2018.
Traders in the Asian region have been on edge after Pres. Trump defied China’s demands and signed two House bills. According to Andrew Sullivan, the Director of Pearl Bridge Partners, investors are anxious about how China would retaliate against Trump’s decision and its impact on the trade talks between the two superpowers.
There’s an impending round of new tariffs to be imposed on $156 billion worth of Chinese goods by December 15 if negotiators for the US and China don’t agree on a “phase one” deal. And as the date draws closer, investors are getting jittery.