Asia Slips on Tensions over Pelosi Visit

Mainland China and Hong Kong markets led losses in Asia on Tuesday as geopolitical tensions rose over U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 tumbled 398.62 points, or 1.4%, to 27,594.73.

The Japanese yen, a safe-haven currency, traded at 130.93 per U.S. dollar, continuing its strengthening trend from last week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index jettisoned 476.63 points, or 2.4%, to 19,689.21, with heavyweights like Alibaba falling 2.9% and Meituan losing 2.1%.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s shares fell 2.4%, compared with a 1.6% loss on the wider Taiex index.

Consumer prices in South Korea rose 6.3% in July compared with the same period in 2021, official data showed on Tuesday. That’s in line with expectations and the fastest acceleration in prices since November 1998.

The Bank of Korea raised rates by 50 basis points in July.

The Reserve Bank of Australia hiked rates by 50 basis points after official data last week showed prices in Australia rose 6.1% in the second quarter compared with a year ago.

The Australian dollar appeared to lose ground after the RBA decision and last stood at $0.6921, falling below the $0.70 level.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 lost 81.66 points, or 2%, to 4,107.02.

Local media reports citing unnamed sources said Pelosi would go ahead with her visit to Taiwan, a democratic self-ruled island that China sees as a runaway province.

Regarding Pelosi’s trip, Beijing warned that its army would “never sit idly by” and will “uphold China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press conference on Monday.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex faded 234.46 points, or 1.6%, to 14,747.23.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index nosed ahead 0.4 points to 3,239.62

In Korea, the Kospi dropped 12.63 points, or 0.5%, to 2,439.62

In Australia, the ASX 200 eked up 5.08 points, or 0.1%, to 6,998.05

In New Zealand, the NZX gained 6.8 points, or 0.1%, to 11,532.46.