The stock exchange in Hong Kong rose sharply on Wednesday. Investors were happy with reports that a controversial extradition law by Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam is now being definitively withdrawn.
Immediately after that story appeared in the South China Morning Post, the Hang Seng index rose to 4.6 percent, the largest one-day increase since 2011. Around 9.15 a.m., the indicator was about 3.8 percent higher.
There have been protests in Hong Kong for months. The protesters were initially against the extradition law because they were afraid that the extraditions to China would make it easier. Lam finally got the bill off the table, but he remained on the parliament’s agenda.
The protests continued afterwards and in the meantime the protesters are demanding Lam’s resignation, more democracy and a stop for the increasing influence of China in Hong Kong. Lam’s move could lead to more peace in the business city.
Investors also hoped that the peace in Hong Kong would return to the stock market in Shanghai. The Chinese stock market climbed to a profit of 0.9 percent in the last trading hour.
The Nikkei 225, the main index in Tokyo, had already ended 0.1 percent higher after a fluctuating trading session at 20,649.14 points. On a macroeconomic level, it appeared that the Japanese services sector grew faster in August than a month earlier. Fast Retailing won 0.9 percent at the companies. The retailer saw the turnover of its clothing chain Uniqlo in Japan increase by 9.9 percent in August.
Nintendo adds 2.6 percent. Investors hope that the Japanese maker of computer games will be included in the Nikkei with the periodic review of the stock market index. Store comparison website Kakaku.com (plus 1.6 percent) may also be promoted to the main index.
The Kospi in Seoul climbed 1.2 percent. The All Ordinaries in Sydney fell 0.5 percent. The Australian economy grew by 0.5 percent in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter. The growth figure was in line with expectations.