Hong Kong: Stocks drop at open on Wednesday

Hong Kong: Stocks drop at open on Wednesday

Oil prices tumble Shanghai closed 0.6 percent lower, while Hong Kong sank 1.7 percent as the city was rocked by violent protests by tens of thousands of people against government plans for a controversial extradition law. The squeeze has driven up the cost of shorting the Hong Kong dollar, which also contributed to the one-day jump.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.4% to 21,129.72 and the Kospi in Seoul shed 0.1% to 2,108.75.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.16% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.01%.

In Australia, long known for its high-yield currency, rates fell to record lows, with three-year yield now slipping below 1 percent after the country's jobs data pointed to another interest rate cut in July to follow one just last week. Shares fell in Taiwan but rose in Singapore and the Philippines. US shares were headed for a weak open as the future contract for the Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.3% to 25,997.00 while that for the S&P 500 declined 0.3% to 2,879.40.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 lost 0.20 per cent on Wednesday.

USA markets had advanced for five straight days since the Federal Reserve signaled it is open to cutting interest rates, but weakened on Tuesday amid concerns that the US trade spat with China could be prolonged and hurt growth in the world's two biggest economies.

Trump told reporters Tuesday he was prepared to expand 25% tariffs already imposed on $250 billion of Chinese exports to cover another $300 billion if a deal with Beijing falls through. "And we're either going to do a great deal with China or we're not doing a deal at all".

Profit takers moved in while investors keep a nervous eye on developments in the China-US trade saga and an expected meeting between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan this month. The market on Monday welcomed news of a megamerger between Raytheon and United Technologies, but the stocks dropped sharply Tuesday.

China stocks recovered from earlier losses on Thursday, as Chinese vice premier called for fresh measures to support the economy amid a bruising trade war with the United States. The tech sector is still up almost 24% so far this year, the best performer among the 11 sectors in the S&P 500.

The top gainers among H-shares were China Telecom Corp Ltd, up 1.79%, followed by China Gas Holdings Ltd, gaining 1.13% and China Merchants Bank Co Ltd, up by 1.04%. Walgreens rose 1.1% and Dollar Tree rose 2.7%.

The euro slipped to $1.1293, stepping back from 2-1/2-month highs of $1.1348 touched on Friday. The Dow fell 14.17 points, or 0.1%, to 26,048.51.

The Hang Seng lost 1.9% to 27,264.54 as thousands of protesters, a lot of them youths, prevented lawmakers from entering Hong Kong's government headquarters Wednesday.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 11/32 in price to yield 2.091%, from 2.127% late on Wednesday.

In other trading, benchmark USA crude lost 98 cents to $52.29 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

A bigger mover overnight was oil, which tumbled 4 per cent to their lowest settlements in almost five months, pressured by another unexpected rise in USA crude stockpiles and by a dimming outlook for global oil demand. Brent crude oil, the worldwide standard, fell $1.37 to $60.92 a barrel.

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