Asian markets fell in early trading Thursday, following losses on Wall Street and turmoil in Hong Kong.
Stocks fell sharply in Hong Kong after protesters and police clashed throughout the previous day and night. At least 79 people were injured, Hong Kong officials said. Demonstrators were protesting a potential new extradition law with China, which they fear would erode civil liberties. Crowds of protesters on Wednesday blocked lawmakers from meeting to debate the law. Thursday began quietly, as downtown streets reopened heavy rain fell and discouraged crowds in the former British colony.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
slid 1.5%. Stocks also fell in mainland China, with the Shanghai Composite
down 0.6%. Japan’s Nikkei
fell 0.8% and South Korea’s Kospi
dropped 1%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan
were all either flat or down slightly. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
was down slightly.
Among individual stocks, Japan Display
plunged in Tokyo trading after its CEO announced he will step down amid additional restructuring measures. Nintendo
and oil producer Inpex
also fell. In Hong Kong, Tencent
and property companies, such as Hang Lung Properties
, retreated. Samsung
tumbled in South Korea, and Taiwan Semiconductor
declined in Taiwan. Beach Energy
and Oil Search
sank in Australia.