Asian markets are mixed, but mostly lower Thursday after President Trump signed a bill supporting the pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs blasted the U.S. for implementing the bill, calling it plain bullying behaviour, and interference into Chinese domestic politics.
Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite trades down by 0.2%, while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite has a loss of less than 0.1%. Both indices are heading lower in early morning trade. Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng is falling as well, trading lower by 0.2% as investors fear the U.S. move will cause Beijing to interfere in the protests.
In Australia the S&P/ASX 200 is holding to a 0.3% gain, continuing further into record territory despite the scandal at Westpac continuing to weigh on markets. Investors remain emboldened by hopes for more rate cuts from the Reserve Bank of Australia and the continued records being set on Wall Street.
In Japan the Nikkei is flat, with a slight gain as the Yen continues to fall versus the U.S. dollar, giving a boost to Japan’s multi-national companies. The Yen is now at its weakest since May and looks to be ready to soften further given the recent strong economic news from the U.S.
In Southeast Asia markets are mostly lower, with the Straits Times in Singapore falling 0.3%, and the KLCI losing 0.2%. In Indonesia, the Jakarta Composite has moved higher by less than 0.1% at the open.