Asia Pacific stocks were mostly down on Wednesday morning, with vote counting for a U.S. Senate runoff election in the state of Georgia currently underway.
Tensions between the U.S. and China are up, with U.S. President Donald Trump also signing an order banning U.S. transactions with eight digital Chinese payment platforms, including Ant Group’s Alipay.
Investors are also focused on whether the New York Stock exchange will delist China Mobile Ltd , China Telecom Corp Ltd and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd on security grounds. Although the bourse reversed its decision to delist the trio on Tuesday, it could reportedly restart delisting plans.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.50%. Over 50 activists and politicians were taken into custody earlier in the day on suspicion of violating the city’s national security law. The group included former opposition politicians Alvin Yeung, James To, Andrew Wan and Lam Cheuk-ting, as well as academic and activist Benny Tai.
The charges stem from an informal primary in July 2020 to choose candidates for the legislative election due to have taken place in September and which was subsequently postponed.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.38% and South Korea’s KOSPI inched down 0.08%. In Australia, the ASX 200 slid 1.09%.
Mainland Chinese stocks were up by the early morning. The Shanghai Composite was up by 0.28 % to 3,538.90. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down about 0.11% to 27,625.50.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average. Nikkei 225 is trading down 0.38 percent at 27,056. on Wednesday, while the broader TOPIX 100 rose 0.43 percent to 1,169.23. South Korea’s Kospi was up by 0.01% to 2990.01.