Hong Kong stocks ended slightly lower on Thursday as investors pared early hefty losses fuelled by concerns about the impact of protests in the city while investors keep tabs on developments in the China-US trade row.
The Hang Seng Index dipped 0.1 percent, to 27,294.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.1 percent, to 2,910 while the Shenzhen Composite Index gained 0.3 percent, to 1,532.
Hang Seng Index led regional losses after Wednesday's demonstrations against a planned extradition law that protesters fear will entangle people in China's courts and hammer the city's reputation as an international business hub.
Hong Kong has also come under pressure from the international community, with the European Union saying the proposed law had "potentially far-reaching consequences for Hong Kong and its people, for EU and foreign citizens, as well as for business confidence in Hong Kong".
The amount banks charge each other to borrow cash – known as the Hong Kong Interbank Borrowing Rate (Hibor) – extended its recent rise to a fresh 11-year high on Thursday as cash is sucked out of the financial system. The gains saw the local dollar hit a six-month high.
While the withdrawals are expected at this time of year for various seasonal reasons as well as preparations for IPOs, analysts said the protests were also having some effect.
Among other markets, Tokyo ended 0.5 percent lower, Singapore fell 0.2 percent and Taipei fell 0.5 percent. Sydney, and Manila were also lower, though Wellington ended up after late rebounds. (AFP)