Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures tumbled in early trading Monday, pointing to a weak stock market open. It comes after renewed violence in Hong Kong which saw at least one protestor shot by police.
Global stock markets withdrew into risk-off mode as the Hong Kong chaos put geopolitical tensions on a knife edge. In harrowing footage circulated on social media, one man was set on fire. China’s Global Times editor-in-chief wrote:
“On Monday, radical protesters in Hong Kong set road barriers citywide, burned subway and clashed with police. One police officer fired live rounds when attacked by several rioters. Police officers in NYC and London, would you open fire under this circumstance?”
Dow futures contracts shed more than 100 points on Monday morning as US stock futures whipsawed lower. US stock markets are poised to open lower despite ending last week near record highs.
S&P 500 futures dipped 0.31% while Nasdaq Composite futures took a 0.4% hit. The bitcoin price is at $8,641 after briefly jumping above $9,000 over the weekend.
The six-month protests in Hong Kong took a dark turn on Monday as reports of escalating violence shocked the newswires. In perhaps the defining moment of the clashes so far, protestors set a man on fire for reportedly disagreeing with them.
“Monday in Hong Kong, a man who openly disagreed with radical protesters was poured gasoline over by rioters and set on fire” – Hu Xijin, Global Times editor-in-chief.
Police turned to drastic measures including tear gas and pepper spray in an attempt to disperse the crowds. One man is in hospital in critical condition after a police offer fired a live round during an altercation. After bringing the Hong Kong airport to a standstill earlier this year, protestors continued to block roads and subways on Monday.
The chaos in Hong Kong dragged the Asian markets down overnight. The Hang Seng index fell almost 3%. Chinese indexes followed with the Shanghai composite ending 1.8% down and Shenzen composite down 2.2%.
The ripple effect hit US stock futures overnight with a sharp drop at 1 am ET as the news broke around the world. Protests in Hong Kong have repeatedly made US traders nervous over the last six months. As Bloomberg reported, the violence throws fresh uncertainty onto the global stage right as China and the US come close to finalising the phase one trade deal.
“The unrest in Hong Kong is reminding investors of lingering geo-political risks as U.S.-China trade talks drag on.”