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Asian Markets Mixed; Hang Seng Index Rises Despite Worrying Political Crisis

Investing.com - Asian stock markets were mixed in morning trade on Thursday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched up despite worrying political crisis.

Wu Qian, spokesman of China’s defence ministry, said the People’s Liberation Army could be deployed in Hong Kong if protests continue.

Wu said the “behaviour of some radical demonstrators ... is absolutely intolerable” and that they “challenges the central government’s authority, touching on the bottom line principle of ‘one country, two systems.”

Under a “one country, two systems” framework, Hong Kong was guaranteed a high degree of control over its own affairs until 2047.

Tensions in the city rose to an unprecedented level following multiple mass protests since June against a proposed extradition bill. Some people believe the proposed law by the government is another sign that Hong Kong citizens’ civil rights are slowing eroding under Beijing’s control.

On Wednesday, Ireland issued a travel warning for Hong Kong while countries including Japan, South Korea and Canada advised their citizens to be wary following violent clashes in Yuen Long over the past weekend that saw a rampaging mob assaulted members of the public in the MTR station, including journalists.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component gained 0.4% and 0.5% respectively by 10:40 PM ET (02:40 GMT).

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.3%.

South Korea’s KOSPI underperformed its regional peers and was down 0.9% in morning trade. The country’s GDP in the second quarter grew by 1.1%, slightly higher than the median forecast of 1.0% growth.

Index heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KS:005930)s made headlines after the company said it plans to release Galaxy Fold in September. The devices were set to be launched earlier in the year but were delayed due to issues with their foldable displays during early reviews.

Chipmaker SK Hynix Inc (KS:000660) also received some focus after reporting its smallest quarterly earnings in three years.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.5%. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe is due to speak later in the morning for clues more the central bank’s future policy moves.

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