Asian stocks moved higher on Wednesday, following Wall Street’s gains overnight. But Hong Kong markets wavered a bit as tensions continue to brew in the financial hub.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 1.4% in early trading, while South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.4%. South Korea’s central bank on Wednesday reduced a key interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.25%. The bank cut the rate in July for the first time in three years.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was also up about 0.4%, though it briefly slipped 0.3% in earlier trading.
China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday said it would retaliate if US lawmakers approve bills that support the Hong Kong protests. The government released that statement after the US House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill that would mandate an annual review to determine whether Hong Kong’s autonomy from the mainland Chinese government remains sufficient to justify the special treatment the city receives under US law.
The Senate version of the legislation is still awaiting a floor vote. It also differs slightly from the House measure, meaning the House may have to take up the issue again later on.
US stock futures pulled back slightly in Asian trading hours. Futures for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq lost about 0.2%. All three indexes ended sharply higher Tuesday.