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Hong Kong Clashes Continue, Lam Says Protests 'Ruined Christmas'

Tanzeel Akhtar

Protests in Hong Kong continued over the Christmas holiday with a flurry of tear gas and arrests as police clashed with protesters following weeks of relative calm, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Thursday marked the third straight day of political unrest over the Christmas period as police and protesters clashed inside shopping malls.

A teenager tumbled off a balcony at a restaurant in Mong Kok after police entered to search for protesters, according to local media; he is reportedly in a stable condition and suffering from hand and leg injuries.

Lam Says Christmas 'Ruined'

On Wednesday, Hong Kong's pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam said violent protesters had "ruined" Christmas, according to Channel News Asia.

The protests have been underway for the best part of 2019 now. Economists have cut Hong Kong growth estimates into negative territory for the third quarter due to the economic impact of the protests. A second consecutive quarter of negative growth would push Hong Kong into a technical recession.

Jim Cramer said on CNBC Monday the Hong Kong protests may be more important for investors than the trade war.

Declining Hong Kong Tourism

Declining tourist arrivals into Hong Kong areadding to the city’s economic troubles. In August, the protests disrupted flights at the city's airport. 

Visitors from mainland China, who account for close to 80% of tourists in Hong Kong, fell by around 4.45% from January to October this year compared to the same period in 2018, according to CNBC.

Price Action

The iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (NYSE: FXI) was up 0.83% at the time of publication

The iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF (NYSE: EWH) was trading up 0.23%. 

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