Hong Kong’sHang Seng(HSI)dropped 2.1% at midday, accelerating earlier losses. China’sShanghai Composite(SHCOMP)declined 1.3%. South Korea’sKospi(KOSPI)Slumped 0.5%. Japan’sNikkei(N 225)edged down 0.3%.
The losses in Hong Kong came as traffic stalled and clashes broke out across the city. A traffic officer shot a protester early Monday morning, according to a police source.
Five months of mass demonstrations have disrupted Hong Kong’s economy andplunged the financial hub into its first recessionin a decade. The city’s real estate stocks were hit particularly hard on Monday, with big property developers like Swire Pacific, Wharf Real Estate, Sun Hung Kai Properties and New World Development all dropping more than 4%.
Monday was also the first opportunity that markets in Asia had to respond to comments from US President Donald Trump, who said Friday in the United States that hehas yet to agree to wiping tariffs. That undercut a statement from China’s Commerce Ministry thatindicated opennessto such a concession as part of the first phase of a trade deal between the two countries.
“They’d like to have a rollback,” Trump said. “I haven’t agreed to anything. China would like to get somewhat of a rollback, not a complete rollback because they know I won’t do it.”
A day earlier, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce told reporters that US and Chinese negotiators had discussed rolling back tariffs, saying the rollbacks could happen even before a “phase one” trade deal is signed.
Despite Trump’s remarks, Wall Street ended last week at record highs.