U.S. Markets closed

Hong Kong Protest Momentum Faces Test With Weekend Rally, Strike

Aaron Mc Nicholas
1 / 3

Hong Kong Protest Momentum Faces Test With Weekend Rally, Strike

(Bloomberg) -- As Hong Kong’s protesters gear up for another mass march downtown this weekend and possibly a strike next Monday, some of those who have fought on the front lines are reassessing their strategy.

The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), which has organized some of the biggest rallies since unrest began in June, said Thursday night it received police approval for a rally -- the first time it has gotten a permit in more than four months. The Sunday march will start at 3 p.m. in Victoria Park in Causeway Bay and head to the city’s business district in Central, the group said.

An outburst of violence last month culminated in a nearly two-week siege around Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which is still littered with debris. Police arrested more than 1,300 people at the Kowloon site -- almost a quarter of all those taken into custody so far -- and seized about 4,000 petrol bombs along with explosives and corrosive liquids.

John, a 29-year-old business analyst who joined protests during the siege, said the occupation of PolyU and other universities were “tactical mishaps” and “a huge price was paid.” Still, he credited the moves for leading to a big win for pro-democracy protesters in local elections and spurring the U.S. to pass laws supporting the movement.

“People are not backing down,” said John, who asked for only his first name to be given to avoid detection by police, adding that he expects a “huge turnout” at a rally planned for Sunday. “We should seize this chance to apply maximum pressure to the Carrie Lam government.”

Economy Hit

The intense developments in recent weeks, along with a drop in temperatures as Christmas approaches, are again testing the endurance of a movement that has persistently reinvented itself since it exploded nearly six months ago. Peaceful rallies have given way at times to intense violence and vandalism, while police abuses have also enraged demonstrators and boosted turnout.

The unrest has rocked the economy, which has slipped into a recession as the protests deter residents and visitors alike from spending heavily in the city’s famed shopping districts. So far government stimulus measures have fallen short of the level recommended by the International Monetary Fund to shore up growth.

Lam’s administration in Hong Kong has withdrawn a bill allowing extraditions to the mainland that initially sparked the movement, but has refused to give in to other demands. Those include an amnesty for protesters, an independent inquiry into police violence and meaningful elections for the city’s top leadership positions.

Back on June 9, when the unrest began, CHRF said more than 1 million people took to the streets in a rally organized by the group. The police permit for Sunday’s rally means little for many front-line protesters, who point to the use of tear gas last weekend despite authorization having been granted. Police later said they fired tear gas because some radical protesters were throwing bricks in their direction.

Besides the mass march planned for Sunday, demonstrators on LIHKG -- the social media forum where protesters discuss tactics -- have repeatedly called for a new general strike starting on Monday. While the level of energy for such a renewed offensive remains unclear, any plans to block roads and disrupt public transport could once again cast a shadow on Hong Kong.

‘Not Ready to Give Up’

Eric Lai, vice-convener for CHRF, said the big win for the pro-democracy camp in District Council elections on Nov. 24 showed the protests still aren’t losing steam even after all these months. He also said his group isn’t hoping to meet Lam for dialogue since the demands of protesters have been clearly expressed.

“We didn’t have a downturn and the strategy is clear,” Lai said of the movement. “Peaceful actions and frontline actions work hand-in-hand, and the election results show we have maximized our momentum.”

In the early months of the protests, the movement defined itself by the principle of “be water”: Quickly dispersing when police arrived and then reappearing elsewhere to block roads, set barricades on fire or vandalize businesses. The days-long occupations of university campuses deviated from that principle.

Still, the protesters have shifted gears before -- including in August, when the seizure of the international airport risked leading to a wider backlash among the city’s residents. Time again, the demonstrators have backed up their claims that they won’t stop until Lam and her backers in Beijing yield to all of their demands.

“We have always been losing for the past six months,” said 24-year-old student Oliver. “So I think it’s not the problem of ‘is it still worthwhile?’ but instead ‘are we giving up?’ I’m not ready to give up.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Mc Nicholas in Hong Kong at amcnicholas2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at dtenkate@bloomberg.net, Jon Herskovitz

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Politics
    Bloomberg

    Warren Responds to ‘Angry Dad’ Over Student Loan Plan

    In a clip shared on an anonymous pro-Trump Twitter account Tuesday and amplified by conservative media, an unnamed man tells Warren that he gave up vacations and saved money for his daughter's education so that she wouldn't have debt. Asked about the clip in an interview on “CBS This Morning,” Warren responded that younger Americans are getting “crushed” by student loan debt, which is roughly $1.5 trillion.

  • One of the most successful stock-market investors says these 3 events ‘would definitely trigger a bear market’
    Business
    MarketWatch

    One of the most successful stock-market investors says these 3 events ‘would definitely trigger a bear market’

    Stanley Druckenmiller, one of Wall Street's most successful investors, acknowledges that the markets are riding high and that investors may be able to finally breathe freely in the short term after a number of shocks, but says investors should be wary of three events that could knock assets into a bear market. One of the reasons I'm pretty sanguine right now is I think we're close enough to the election, at least we can breathe for a few months,” he told Bloomberg Television during a recent interview. But there are a trio of situations that could upend that optimism — and perhaps permanently.

  • ‘Kids that don’t fail are normally frugal.' Wealth advisers say Meghan and Harry’s lifestyle already raises red flags
    News
    MarketWatch

    ‘Kids that don’t fail are normally frugal.' Wealth advisers say Meghan and Harry’s lifestyle already raises red flags

    Meghan and Harry Windsor aren't the first people to try to quit the safety of a rich family and try to go it alone, and they won't be the last. Chief among them: Reports that the couple is looking to buy a mansion in Vancouver on the market for $36 million Canadian dollars ($27 million in U.S. dollars), already dubbed a “Megha-Mansion” by the British press. “That is a red flag,” writes Elizabeth Windisch, a financial planner at Aspen Wealth Management in Centennial, Colo., in an email, “they really couldn't find a nice, secure home for, say, $15 million.” Others agree.

  • Business
    U.S.News & World Report

    7 Best Vanguard Funds to Buy and Hold

    It offers a five-year average return of 7.23% and an expense ratio of 0.14%. Year-to-date, VASGX has delivered a 23.13% return. VITSX is one of the best Vanguard mutual funds for buy-and-hold investors who want broad exposure to the stock market as a whole.

  • Retirement: What Happens If a Spouse Dies?
    Business
    Investopedia

    Retirement: What Happens If a Spouse Dies?

    This form names the person or people who will receive your IRA and in what proportions. You can amend the form at any time, but whoever is on the form upon your death will receive the funds—even if they are an ex-spouse or a disinherited child. "If you name multiple people as beneficiaries of one retirement plan, they all take required minimum distributions (RMDs) based on the life expectancy of the eldest beneficiary (i.e., the person who has to take out the largest distributions).

  • 3 Top Dividend Stocks with Over 7% Dividend Yield
    Business
    TipRanks

    3 Top Dividend Stocks with Over 7% Dividend Yield

    These profit-sharing payments give investors a steady income stream – even when market gains are sluggish. As an added appeal, there is no upper limit to a dividend's yield. After three Fed rate cuts in 2019, Treasury bonds are down to the 1.5% to 1.75% range – while the average dividend yield among S&P-listed companies is just about 2%.

  • Stock Market Dives After CDC Confirms Second U.S. Case Of Deadly China Virus
    Business
    Investor's Business Daily

    Stock Market Dives After CDC Confirms Second U.S. Case Of Deadly China Virus

    Stocks turned red and headed sharply lower after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a second U.S. case of the China coronavirus, putting the Dow Jones Industrial Average on track for a 1.5% weekly loss. The S&P 500 tumbled 1.2%, the Nasdaq dived 1.1% and the Dow Jones industrials sank 0.9% in today's stock action. Small caps tracked by the Russell 2000 shed 1.9%.

  • Britain's Prince Charles appears to snub Pence
    World
    Associated Press Videos

    Britain's Prince Charles appears to snub Pence

    Britain's Prince Charles appeared to snub U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday during his arrival to the World Holocaust Forum event. Jan.

  • Want to solve the retirement crisis? Invest $7,500 for every baby born in America
    Business
    MarketWatch

    Want to solve the retirement crisis? Invest $7,500 for every baby born in America

    This federal program, which doles out an average monthly benefit of about $1,500, was never meant to be the sole source of retirement income for older Americans. One recent proposal aims to change that. As part of his work with the Stanford Center on Longevity, Ric Edelman, chairman and co-founder of Edelman Financial Services, proposed a new vehicle to generate an additional source of retirement income.

  • AMD earnings: Intel’s data-center surge will be a tough act to follow
    Business
    MarketWatch

    AMD earnings: Intel’s data-center surge will be a tough act to follow

    Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s sales of server chips may get heightened scrutiny following a surprise jump in data-center sales reported by larger rival Intel Corp. AMD (AMD) shifted the power balance against bigger rival Intel Corp. (INTC) last year as it released its 7-nm “Rome” chips while Intel failed to bring its 10-nm chip to the market. AMD's forceful re-entry into the server business, which had been completely dominated by Intel for many years, was a big part of its turnaround.

  • Business
    Barrons.com

    Stocks Catch a Cold After Fed Stops Expanding Its Balance Sheet

    In addition to last year's three one-quarter percentage-point short-term rate cuts, the central bank has expanded its balance sheet by over $300 billion since September, when ructions in the repurchase-agreement market led it to inject liquidity. Since then, U.S. stocks' value has jumped by more than $3 trillion. The Fed insists that its operations don't constitute quantitative easing, as it calls its purchases of long-term securities intended to boost stock and bond prices.

  • Tesla will mark the beginning of the end for this bull market, warns Ralph Nader
    Business
    MarketWatch

    Tesla will mark the beginning of the end for this bull market, warns Ralph Nader

    Apparently so, according to consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who issued a stark warning this week, not only on the electric-car maker's pricey stock, but on the stock market as a whole. “Deep in debt, selling less than 400,000 vehicles last year and challenged by several competing electric car models in 2020, Tesla's stock valuation stunningly exceeds VW which sold over 10 million vehicles last year,” Nader added in a follow-up tweet. Of course, his stance didn't sit well with Tesla fans.

  • Why this CIO is bullish on two of the most unloved stocks: Boeing and GE
    Business
    Yahoo Finance

    Why this CIO is bullish on two of the most unloved stocks: Boeing and GE

    Meanwhile, the coronavirus outbreak has similarly left markets largely unscathed as stocks continue to hover near their all-time highs. Kramer Capital Research CIO Hilary Kramer considers these events, among others, to be 'non-issues' in a market intent on continuing its climb. Kramer joined The Final Round on Thursday to discuss what risks, if any, could send markets down, and why Boeing (BA) and General Electric (GE) are among her top stock picks.

  • Store closings pile up: With 1,200 closures already announced, retailers face another grim year
    Business
    USA TODAY

    Store closings pile up: With 1,200 closures already announced, retailers face another grim year

    National chains Macy's, J.C. Penney, Papyrus, Express and Pier 1 Imports, as well as other retailers, have collectively announced 1,218 store closures this year, according to global marketing research firm Coresight Research. The fallout comes after a year in which retailers closed more than 9,200 stores, according to Coresight. Those included the liquidation of Payless ShoeSource, Fred's, Gymboree and Charlotte Russe and mass closures by Family Dollar, Forever 21, Charming Charlie, Sears, Kmart, A.C. Moore and GameStop.

  • News
    USA TODAY

    After the wedding, should you marry your money in a joint account? Here are 3 approaches.

    All in It Together “In this model, couples bring all of their assets and liabilities together,” Shekar says, which means joint bank accounts held in both partners' names and accessible to both. When Maureen Wright married her husband, Patrick, a year and a half ago, they immediately decided to merge their finances into one checking, one savings and one joint investment account – just like their parents did. To Wright, who works as a financial adviser, the advantages of banking jointly included built-in accountability, transparency and simplicity.

  • Business
    Barrons.com

    Oil Tumbled This Week. It’s Time to Buy Energy Stocks Like BP.

    Just when it looked as if oil prices were ready to shoot higher, the waning threat of war and the arrival of the coronavirus has caused them to have their worst start to a year since 2016. That makes it a good time to consider buying energy stocks. Oil began 2020 with a quick 7.5% gain as tensions between the U.S. and Iran ratcheted up, leading to concern that an all-out conflict would disrupt the oil supply.

  • Boeing 737 Max Could Get FAA OK Soon But Earnings Promise Huge Sticker Shock
    Business
    Investor's Business Daily

    Boeing 737 Max Could Get FAA OK Soon But Earnings Promise Huge Sticker Shock

    The timeline for resuming production on the Boeing 737 Max and returning it to service will be big topics when the company reports earnings Wednesday. Analysts see Boeing's earnings falling 68.4% to $1.73 per share with revenue down 23.5% to $21.67 billion. "As we noted in our 4Q19 earnings preview, we are expecting Boeing's upcoming results to be 'an absolute disaster,' and that now looks guaranteed," wrote Vertical Research analysts Robert Stallard and Karl Oehlschlaeger in a note.

  • Brad Pitt: 'I'm old'
    News
    Associated Press Videos

    Brad Pitt: 'I'm old'

    As he's presented with the Maltin Modern Masters Award in Santa Barbara, Brad Pitt admits he may have forgotten the first rule of Fight Club, but feels blessed to have the life he's had. Jan.

  • Head of U.S.’ largest bank says central banks are fueling a sovereign debt bubble, negative-rates won’t ‘end well’
    Business
    MarketWatch

    Head of U.S.’ largest bank says central banks are fueling a sovereign debt bubble, negative-rates won’t ‘end well’

    Jamie Dimon doesn't have much positive to say about negative interest rates in Europe and Japan or public policy in the United States during the past decade. The JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Chairman and CEO blasted the policy of negative interest rates adopted in Europe and Japan during an interview Wednesday with CNBC, while arguing that economic growth in the U.S. could have been nearly double its actual rate if the government policy had been better. Dimon took aim at fiscal and other economic policies in place at the U.S. federal level.

  • Inovio’s stock soars after receiving grant to develop coronavirus vaccine
    Business
    MarketWatch

    Inovio’s stock soars after receiving grant to develop coronavirus vaccine

    As the coronavirus out of China spreads and gets deadlier, shares of health care companies that announce plans to take part in finding a vaccine, or identifying patients with the new strain, have rallied sharply in very active trading. On Thursday, among the bigger coronavirus gainers was Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s stock (INO) , which ran up 12% to the highest close since May 9. The Pennsylvania-based biotechnology company said early Thursday that it was awarded a grant of up to $9 million by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop a vaccine for the new strain of coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, which originated in Wuhan, China, and has killed no less than 17 people.

  • Canopy Growth (CGC): Why The Beverage Debacle Is a Big Problem
    Business
    TipRanks

    Canopy Growth (CGC): Why The Beverage Debacle Is a Big Problem

    Beverage Debacle Canopy Growth shocked the market last week by admitting their cannabis-infused beverages were not ready to scale for the market. The news is surprising considering the company is already a month into the legalization of Cannabis 2.0 products such as edibles and beverages. New CEO David Klein suggests the time period since Canopy Growth obtained Health Canada license in late November 2019 wasn't enough time to work out the kinks with THC in a brand new beverage facility.

  • PG&E Probation Judge Threatens to Restrict Manager Bonuses
    Business
    Bloomberg

    PG&E Probation Judge Threatens to Restrict Manager Bonuses

    As PG&E struggles to prove it can operate safely after a series of devastating wildfires blamed on its equipment, U.S. District Judge William Alsup threatened in a filing Friday to tie incentive pay “exclusively” to meeting goals for fire mitigation and other safety issues. In response, Alsup has said he may require PG&E to hire and train more crews to inspect and cut trees to come into compliance with state requirements. Alsup is overseeing PG&E's criminal probation after the utility was convicted in 2016 of violating gas-pipeline safety standards and obstructing a federal investigation.

  • Investors Are Hammering The No. 1 Robotic Surgery Outlet — Here's Why
    Business
    Investor's Business Daily

    Investors Are Hammering The No. 1 Robotic Surgery Outlet — Here's Why

    Intuitive Surgical stock skidded Friday after the robotic surgery outlet issued a conservative 2020 outlook following a slowdown in the fourth quarter. Late Thursday, Intuitive Surgical said it expects procedures using its robotic surgery system, the da Vinci Surgical System, to climb 13%-16% in 2020. That touched analysts' call for 16% growth in 2020, Evercore ISI analyst Vijay Kumar said in a note to clients.

  • 5G to IoT: 3 Long-Term Growth Stocks in the Tech Sector
    Business
    GuruFocus.com

    5G to IoT: 3 Long-Term Growth Stocks in the Tech Sector

    SWKS 30-Year Financial Data The intrinsic value of SWKS Peter Lynch Chart of SWKS As the world becomes increasingly connected on the foundation of 5G, companies whose products are geared towards the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) are more likely to see stronger growth than their competitors. Smartphones won't be the next big thing forever, so if you are looking for long-term 5G growth potential, smartphone stocks may not necessarily be your best bet (though their potential in the short term is undeniable). Instead, the companies that will be involved in the 5G rollout and also stand to benefit from IoT technology might be better investments.

  • When Should You Buy Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL)?
    Business
    Simply Wall St.

    When Should You Buy Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL)?

    With many analysts covering the large-cap stock, we may expect any price-sensitive announcements have already been factored into the stock's share price. Let's take a look at Marvell Technology Group's outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists. What is Marvell Technology Group worth?