Hong Kong pulls Asian shares down amid China’s new national security laws
Hong Kong shares fell on Friday as Beijing readies to impose a new security law after the pro-democracy protests in 2019. The decision could bring about more civil unrest, further building tensions between the U.S. and China.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slid 3.7% to a 7-week low, lowering the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares by 1.2%.
Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.25%, while South Korea’s KOSPI slipped 0.7%.
U.S. President Donald Trump threatened that Washington would react “very strongly” should the law be passed.
Washington has raised criticism on China over the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that could keep Chinese companies from having their shares listed on U.S. exchanges. Washington had also pushed to block global chip supplies, blacklisting telecoms giant Huawei Technologies.
U.S. stock futures gained 3.3% for the week, though relatively remained unchanged.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Yuan held steady at $7.1387.
Other major currencies also stood their ground, with the Euro standing at $1.0945. The Japanese Yen also kept at $107.58.