Asia Markets: Asian markets fall, led by Hang Seng’s slide

Asian markets fell in early trading Thursday, following losses on Wall Street and turmoil in Hong Kong.

Stocks fell sharply in Hong Kong after protesters and police clashed throughout the previous day and night. At least 79 people were injured, Hong Kong officials said. Demonstrators were protesting a potential new extradition law with China, which they fear would erode civil liberties. Crowds of protesters on Wednesday blocked lawmakers from meeting to debate the law. Thursday began quietly, as downtown streets reopened heavy rain fell and discouraged crowds in the former British colony.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -1.21%   slid 1.5%. Stocks also fell in mainland China, with the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.45%   down 0.6%. Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.81%   fell 0.8% and South Korea’s Kospi 180721, -0.91%   dropped 1%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, -0.54%  , Singapore STI, -0.39%   and Indonesia JAKIDX, -0.05%   were all either flat or down slightly. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.00%   was down slightly.

Among individual stocks, Japan Display 6740, -10.45%   plunged in Tokyo trading after its CEO announced he will step down amid additional restructuring measures. Nintendo 7974, -2.11%   and oil producer Inpex 1605, -2.39%   also fell. In Hong Kong, Tencent 700, -2.49%   and property companies, such as Hang Lung Properties 101, -3.11%  , retreated. Samsung 005930, -2.02%   tumbled in South Korea, and Taiwan Semiconductor 2330, -2.03%  declined in Taiwan. Beach Energy BPT, -3.37%   and Oil Search OSH, -1.77%   sank in Australia.

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