China shares down more than 2%, Asian markets plunge as geopolitical tensions mount during Pelosi visit


Pelosi’s visit will significantly increase tensions between the US and China, but is unlikely to trigger a Chinese response that could spark conflict.

Regarding Pelosi’s trip, Beijing warned that its military “will never sit still” and “maintain China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a news conference on Monday.

“Pelosi’s visit will significantly increase tensions between the US and China, but is unlikely to trigger a Chinese response that poses conflict risks,” analysts from the Eurasia Group wrote in a note Monday.

Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company fell 2.78%, compared to a loss of 1.87% in the broader Taiex index.

The dollar yen may react to developments, said Saktiandi Supaat, regional head of FX research and strategy at Maybank.

“Geopolitical risk is always a factor we look at in the FX space. But it’s hard to predict,” he told CNBC’s Street Signs Asia on Tuesday.

The Japanese yen, a safe-haven currency, traded at 130.74 per dollar and continued its strengthening trend from last week.

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Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.47% and the Topix index lost 1.7%.

In South Korea, the Kospi lost 0.73% and the Kosdaq 0.82%.

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

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

The Australian S&P/ASX 200 recovered from previous losses and was marginally higher.

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

The Australian dollar appeared to lose ground following the RBA decision, most recently standing at $0.6992, below the $0.70 level.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan fell 1.54%.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 46.73 points, or 0.14%, to 32,798.40 overnight.

The S&P 500 lost 0.28% to 4,118.63 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.18%, closing at 12,368.98.

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, stood at 105,239.

Oil futures fell Tuesday. US crude lost 0.69% to $93.24 a barrel after falling 4.8% in the previous session, and Brent crude lost 0.77% to $99.26 a barrel. The international benchmark was down 3.79% in the previous session.

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