World Shares Lower on US-Hong Kong Bill11/20 06:09
Shares retreated Wednesday in Europe and Asia after the U.S. Senate passed a
resolution supporting human rights in Hong Kong following months of
increasingly violent protests.
BEIJING (AP) -- Shares retreated Wednesday in Europe and Asia after the U.S.
Senate passed a resolution supporting human rights in Hong Kong following
months of increasingly violent protests.
The resolution has added to worries over prospects for Beijing and
Washington to resolve a tariff war that is hammering manufacturing in the
world's two biggest economies.
Germany's DAX lost 0.7% to 13,127.39 and the CAC 40 in France declined 0.7%
to 5,867.55. The FTSE 100 in Britain lost 0.7% to 7,274.78. Wall Street looked
set to extend losses, with the future contract for the Dow Jones Industrial
Average down 0.4% at 27,795.00 and that for the S&P 500 losing 0.3% to 3,108.60.
The Senate on Tuesday easily approved the Hong Kong Human Rights and
Democracy Act, which passed by a voice vote. It now goes to the House, which
has already endorsed similar legislation.
In Hong Kong, a small band of anti-government protesters, their numbers
diminished by surrenders and failed escape attempts, were still holed up at a
Hong Kong university Wednesday as they braced for the endgame in a police siege
of the campus.
Police were waiting the demonstrators out after 10 days of some of the most
intense protests the city has seen in more than five months of often-violent
unrest. Since the siege began Sunday, more than 1,000 people have been arrested
and hundreds of injured treated at hospitals, authorities said.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.8% to 26,889.61. The Shanghai Composite
index declined 0.8% to 2,911.05.
The U.S. pressure on what Beijing says is purely an internal Chinese issue
could complicate efforts by President Donald Trump's administration to forge a
trade deal with Beijing, analysts said.
"Now that the 'HK bill' has passed by an overwhelming majority in the
Senate, it will be difficult for the White House to hold out against this
bipartisan pressure, which could to put another snag in the trade talk lines,"
Stephen Innes of AxiTrader said in a commentary.
Beijing and Washington are negotiating a preliminary deal that could help
avert increases in the billions of dollars in tariffs each side has imposed on
the other's exports in the dispute over industrial and technology policy and
Trump said Tuesday he was prepared to raise tariffs on Chinese exports
further if an agreement cannot be reached.
"China's going to have to make a deal that I like," Trump said. "If they
don't, that's it, OK?"
Trump said he was "very happy" that China and the U.S. are talking. But he
added, "If we don't make a deal with China, I'll just raise tariffs even
The tariff war between China and the U.S. has stretched for over a year,
squeezing exporters across Asia.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index declined 0.6% to 23,148.57 after customs data
showed the country's exports falling 9.2% in October from a year earlier, with
sharp declines in shipments to China, South Korea and the U.S.
Japan's exports to the U.S. dipped 11% in October, marking the third
straight month of declines and the worst drop in three years. Imports from the
U.S. fell 17%.
Australia's S&P ASX 200 fell 1.4% to 6,722.40 as energy and financial
companies declined. Banks were hit by allegations by regulators that Westpac, a
bank, is suspected of violating anti-money laundering laws.
India's Sensex was an outlier, gaining 0.8% to 40,791.29, while shares fell
in Taiwan and most of Southeast Asia.
Energy sector stocks took the heaviest losses as the price of U.S. crude oil
In energy trading Wednesday, benchmark crude oil lost 20 cents to $55.15 per
barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $1.79
to settle at $55.35 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude oil, the international
standard, lost 24 cents to $60.67 per barrel after dropping $1.53 overnight.
The dollar fell to 108.43 Japanese yen from 108.54 yen on Tuesday. The euro
weakened to $1.1058 from $1.1077.