Asian stocks mixed as U.S-China tensions sour risk sentiment
Asian stocks were mixed earlier on Wednesday, weighed down by shares in the Greater China region after a second planned protest broke out in Hong Kong during the week.
Hong Kong’s Legislative Council will discuss its controversial national anthem bill, which had provoked a new round of protests in the city. The protests first sparked on Sunday after China tabled a national security law for Hong Kong and Macau at the end of the previous week.
U.S. President Donald Trump said overnight that Washington was “doing something now” about Hong Kong’s decision and would be revealed later in the week.
Fears of mounting tensions between the U.S. and China soured investor sentiment, forcing many to flock to safe-haven assets.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell by 0.47% at 11:24 PM ET (4:24 AM GMT).
China’s Shanghai Composite slipped by 0.20%, while the SZSE Component lost 0.72%.
Japan’s Nikkei rose by 0.39%, reclaiming a portion of its losses from the previous session. The Japanese government had recently pledged a new stimulus package worth up to ¥117 trillion ($1.087 trillion). The package will be funded by a second supplementary budget that was raised from an issuance of ¥31.9 trillion in government bonds.
South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.20% amid speculation that the Bank of Korea would slash a key interest rate even further on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the ASX 200 gained 0.47%.