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Asian Markets Fall; Hong Kong’s Stocks Plunge 2% as Tensions Roar

Investing.com - Asian markets fell in morning trade on Monday, with Hong Kong's stocks leading the losses as tensions in the city rose.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 2.1% by 10:30 PM ET (02:30 GMT). China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component both fell 1.3%.

Political unrest continued in Hong Kong, as two protesters were shot by police during the morning commute while services on some train and subway lines were disrupted.

Riot police were deployed near stations and shopping malls. Police fired live rounds at protesters on the eastern side of Hong Kong island, Cable TV and other Hong Kong media reported, noting that two protesters was said to be wounded when police opened fire.

According the media in Hong Kong, protesters are angry about what they described as police brutality and meddling by Beijing in Hong Kong.

The latest violence came after a student died in hospital last week following a high fall during a protest.

Zhang Xiaoming, China’s top official overseeing Hong Kong affairs, said in a post on the agency’s website that only people loyal to Beijing will become Hong Kong’s chief executive.

On the Sino-U.S. trade front, U.S. President said on the weekend that negotiations are moving along “very nicely,” stressing that China wanted a deal “much more than I do.”

The president described recent reports about how much the U.S. was ready to roll back tariffs on Chinese goods as “incorrect.”

“If we don’t make that right deal, we’re not going to make a deal,” Trump told reporters on Saturday. “A lot of positive things are happening.”

His comments contracted with remarks made by a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce last week, who said negotiators had discussions and “agreed to remove the additional tariffs in phases as progress is made on the agreement.”

Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) made headlines today as its Singles’ Day shopping festival got off to a scorching start. In the first 90 minutes, the company already recorded more than 114 billion yuan ($16.3 billion) of purchases, which was the equivalent of more than half of last year’s record haul for the 24-hour event.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.2%. South Korea’s KOSPI traded 0.6% lower.

Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6%.

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