Asian Markets Finish Higher, but Europe, U.S. Dive after Hong Kong Shuts Airport

Stocks reversed gains after Hong Kong International airport announced it has cancelled all departures for the remainder of the day, according to multiple media reports.
James Hyerczyk
Stock Market

Asia Pacific shares finished mostly higher on Monday with the Hong Kong market the exception. There were no major events over the week-end to drive the market in either direction after last week’s volatile two-sided trade was fueled by a couple of geopolitical events. The price action suggests that professionals have taken protection against the latest bad news, allowing value-seeking buyers to retake a little control.

At 08:17 GMT, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index finished at 20684.82, up 91.47 or +0.44%. South Korea’s KOSPI Index settled at 1942.29, up 4.54 or +0.23% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is at 25824.72, down 114.58 or -0.44%.

China’s Shanghai Index closed at 2814.99, up 40.24 or +1.45% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index ended the session at 6590.30, up 5.90 or +-.09%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index Pressured by Politics and Protests

The Hang Seng Index loss stood out the most as unrest in Hong Kong continued into its 10th week, with policy and protesters clashing on Sunday. Shares of Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific were under pressure after it suspended a pilot for his involvement in the ongoing anti-government protests in the city.

The carrier said “overly radical staff would be barred from crewing flights to the mainland. Cathy’s decision came a day after China’s aviation authority issued a “major aviation safety risk warning” to the airline.

Trade War Worries

Stocks performed well after last week’s early sell-off, but uncertainties over U.S.-China trade relations still linger.

Both economic powerhouses are supposed to resume trade talks in Washington in September, but traders aren’t sure that will take place after comments from President Trump on Friday.

Trump confused investors when he said the U.S. is not ready to strike a trade deal with China. “China wants to do something, but I’m not doing anything yet,” Trump said. “Twenty-five years of abuse. I’m not ready so fast.”

A new 10% tariff on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods is expected to kick-in on September 1. Investors are worried that more will follow.

Stocks Dive after Hong Kong Shuts Down Airport

Breaking News:  Hong Kong International airport has cancelled all departures for the remainder of the day, according to multiple media reports.

Earlier in the session stock markets in Europe and the United States were moving higher early Monday, after China’s central bank set the official midpoint reference for the yuan at a stronger-than-expected level.

On Monday, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set its daily mid-point for yuan trading at 7.0211 per dollar. That was weaker than Friday’s session, but higher than market expectations.

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