May 6, 2022, 04.27 PM
An illustration of skyscrapers in Hong Kong. ShutterstockAn illustration of skyscrapers in Hong Kong.

The remarks come a week after the Australian Chamber of Commerce recommended that Hong Kong follow the lead of Singapore or Japan by lowering quarantine requirements for business travelers.

Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Wellington, Taipei, and Manila also tanked. However, Tokyo ended the morning slightly higher.

Adding to the selling pressure was ongoing weakness in China’s economy caused by strict lockdowns and other containment measures as officials struggle to bring a Covid flare-up under control by sticking to a zero-Covid policy.

Various districts in Beijing told residents on Thursday to work from home, while Shanghai, the biggest city in the country, remains essentially shut down.

Also read: China Uses Money, Diplomacy to Push Back Against US in Southeast Asia

On currency markets, the pound continued to struggle a day after plunging more than 2 percent in reaction to the Bank of England’s updated forecast that warned annual inflation would top 10 percent and the economy would contract later this year.

Crude rose after key oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia refused to lift output more than their planned marginal increase as they weighed tight supply concerns caused by the Ukraine war.

“OPEC’s inability to ramp up production when desperately needed by the market is compounding an already dangerous supply deficit,” said Stephen Innes, of SPI Asset Management.

“This means geopolitical tensions will remain high, and while there are some demand-side risks at the moment, it seems likely that the threat of supply disruption will be the dominant driver at this time,” he said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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