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Protests see Hong Kong market tumble

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Protests in Hong Kong caused the country's stock market to tumble today, while sharp drops in its currency forced the country's monetary authority to announce emergency measures to provide support.

Thousands lined the streets of Hong Kong over the weekend to protest against the planned changes to the way its democratic elections work, with police using tear gas and pepper spray against them, according to reports.

As a result of the unrest, the Hong Kong Hang Seng index tumbled as much as 2.3 per cent overnight to 23,148 – a two-month low – while the Hong Kong dollar also reached a six-month low against the US dollar.

The protests have forced some 17 banks to announce the closure of 36 branches, while the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has issued an emergency contingency plan to ensure smooth markets. 

In a statement, the organisation said: “The Hong Kong interbank markets will function normally today. The Currency Board mechanism will also function normally to maintain the stability of the Hong Kong dollar exchange rate. The HKMA will also inject liquidity into the banking system as and when necessary under the established mechanism.”

Elsewhere, the Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.1 per cent to 2,351 while the Nikkei 225 was up 0.5 per cent to 16,310. 

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