Hong Kong Stocks Slide As Trade War Clouds Loom

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2018-03-22 HKT 17:18

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  • The investors were edgy as Washington and Beijing seems to be preparing for a trade war. File photo: RTHK

    The investors were edgy as Washington and Beijing seems to be preparing for a trade war. File photo: RTHK

Hong Kong stocks sank on Thursday on fresh global trade war fears after the US said Donald Trump would impose new sanctions on China over what it called intellectual property violations.

The Hang Seng Index fell 1.1 percent, to end at 31,071.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5 percent, to 3,263 and the Shenzhen Composite Index fell 0.5 percent, to 1,849.

But trading floors across Asia remained edgy on reports that Trump is expected to hit China over what Washington calls "theft" of US intellectual property. Beijing has warned that it will hit back.

Oxford Economics chief Asia economist Louis Kuijs, said: "The key risk is that it does not end with this modest baseline scenario.

"More measures may follow, and tit-for-tat responses could lead to escalation. Collateral damage in other economies will be significant and could further complicate the trade friction."

Singapore fell 0.3 percent and Sydney gave up 0.2 percent while Wellington and Taipei were also lower.

But Tokyo stocks closed 1 percent higher as bargain-hunting after three straight days of losses offset a stronger yen. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 1 percent, to close at 21,591. (AFP)