The markets in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore performed poorly on Thursday morning as China expressed displeasure over the U.S. passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.
The futures markets in the U.S. were also down after President Trump signed the bill into law late on Wednesday night.
U.S. Supports Hong Kong Protestors
The bill, that the House of Representatives and the Senate unanimously passed earlier, calls for the Secretary of State to make sure every year that Hong Kong remains sufficiently independent from Beijing for it to warrant a special trade status with the U.S.
The bill also calls for the U.S. government to place sanctions and travel restrictions on any individual known to have committed human rights violations in the city.
China Is Not Happy
China has opposed the bill saying that the U.S. is attempting to interfere in its internal matters.
The country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday released a statement in response to Trump signing the bill.
“We are officially telling the U.S. and the handful of opposition politicians in Hong Kong who follow America’s lead to not underestimate...our capabilities and strategies in protecting our counMarkets Tanktry’s sovereignty, safety, growth and rights,” the ministry said in the statement, CNBC translated.
The ministry said that the bill reveals the U.S.’s “sinister intentions” to the people of China and Hong Kong.
“It will only make the Chinese people more united and make the American plot doomed to fail,” the ministry said, according to CNBC.
Hong Kong Protests
The anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong began in June over the government’s attempt at passing a bill that will allow the extradition of Hong Kongers to mainland China. Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam finally withdrew the bill in October, but the protests only escalated further as Beijing refuses to give in to the protestors’ other demands.
The protests cooled down after Sunday’s elections saw pro-democracy parties take control of almost all of the city’s district councils, winning around 90% of all seats, CNN reported.
The Hong Kong protestors expressed gratitude to the U.S. government for passing the law on various social media platforms, according to CNN.
Prominent student activist Nathan Law called it a “timely Thanksgiving present for the [people of Hong Kong].”
In China, Shanghai Composite traded 0.29% lower, and Shenzhen Composite was down 0.073%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) traded 0.078% down.
South Korea’s KOSPI traded 0.15% lower. Singapore’s Straits Times Index (STI) was down 0.33%.
Here’s how the futures market performed in the U.S. on Wednesday night:
Dow Jones Futures were down 0.27% at 28,073.
S&P 500 Futures traded 0.28% lower at 3,145.
NASDAQ 100 Futures was at 8427.50, losing 27.25 points.
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