^HSI - HANG SENG INDEX

HKSE - HKSE Delayed price. Currency in HKD
26,291.84
+557.62 (+2.17%)
At close: 4:08PM HKT
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Previous close25,734.22
Open25,994.80
Volume0
Day's range25,994.80 - 26,356.22
52-week range24,540.63 - 30,280.12
Avg. volume1,627,566,938
  • Asia Pacific Shares Jump Amid Easing Fears of Global Recession
    FX Empire

    Asia Pacific Shares Jump Amid Easing Fears of Global Recession

    Buyers are responding to a recovery in U.S. Treasury yields, which may be serving as a sign that talk of a U.S. recession may have been overblown.

  • Cathay Pacific CEO quits amid Hong Kong storm
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Cathay Pacific CEO quits amid Hong Kong storm

    Rupert Hogg’s resignation follows controversy over the airline's handling of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

  • Short Sellers Battle Mainland Buyers in Hong Kong's Stock Market
    Bloomberg

    Short Sellers Battle Mainland Buyers in Hong Kong's Stock Market

    (Bloomberg) -- It’s turning into a struggle of wills between bears betting against Hong Kong equities and mainland Chinese investors.Short selling volume on Hong Kong’s main board climbed to 17% of total turnover this week, the highest proportion since at least 1998, based on a five-day moving average. That’s not deterred mainland investors, who were net buyers of Hong Kong stocks via exchange links for the 21st day on Friday.So far bears have been winning. The benchmark Hang Seng Index has tumbled by about 15% from its April high to be among the world’s worst performers, while selling momentum this week was the strongest since China’s currency devaluation four years ago. Mainland buyers are seeing some success though -- the gauge has rebounded 1.8% in the three days through Friday.To be sure, previous surges in the short selling ratio haven’t been a great indicator for future moves. Back in 2016, a spike was followed by an almost 70% rally. But the pessimistic case for Hong Kong shares is easy to sketch.The city is facing one of its worst crises in decades as increasingly violent protests mar its image as a safe and easy place to do business and shop. There is now serious debate about whether Beijing will use military measures to quell the protests after stationing troops in a stadium across the border.Companies are falling foul of the newly politicized environment. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. shares plunged after being singled out by Chinese entities for not sufficiently punishing employees sympathetic to the demonstrators. The airline, which has since fired staff who’d been suspended in relation to the protests, announced Friday that Chief Executive Officer Rupert Hogg had resigned "to take responsibility as a leader of the company in view of recent events."The trade war with the U.S. is also hurting the local economy, as well as damping demand for Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong. A weak yuan is adding further pressure.Mainland investors have kept the faith, however, purchasing a net $5.8 billion of Hong Kong stocks in the past 21 sessions, the longest run of inflows since February 2018. They bought the most in nearly 18 months on Friday.To contact the reporter on this story: Jeanny Yu in Hong Kong at jyu107@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sofia Horta e Costa at shortaecosta@bloomberg.net, David Watkins, Magdalene FungFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Investors Are Worrying About Hong Kong Banks as Protests Roll On
    Bloomberg

    Investors Are Worrying About Hong Kong Banks as Protests Roll On

    (Bloomberg) -- Investors are getting anxious about the impact anti-government demonstrations are having on Hong Kong’s banks.“Things will be going down if people start seeing Hong Kong, which is an international financial center, differently,” said Ronald Wan, CEO of Partners Capital International Ltd. “There will be concern over banks if we see significant capital outflows as they will lose support for business.”It’s not just anti-government demonstrations, now in their 11th week, that are hurting banks in the city: a slowing economy, weaker Chinese currency -- down 2.5% since the end of June -- and the trade dispute with the U.S. create a troublesome mix. And it’s showing in the stock market.HSBC Holdings Plc’s shares have plunged 13% in just three weeks and are near the most oversold since at least 1989, while BOC Hong Kong Holdings Ltd. has dropped 12% this month. Lenders’ losses have weighed on the benchmark Hang Seng Index, which is among the worst-performing major equity gauges in the world this August, though it rose 0.9% Friday.Citigroup Inc. has turned more cautious on Hong Kong banks, saying in a research note last week that the weakening yuan would cause a “drastic” decline in loans to mainland China clients and hurt asset quality. “We see bigger earnings risk to Hong Kong banks,” analysts including Yafei Tian wrote, downgrading the rating on BOC Hong Kong to neutral. They also said there’s 20% to 60% downside in the sector’s earnings per share.Demonstrations in Hong Kong, sparked by opposition to an amendment to the extradition law, show no sign of letting up and have become increasingly disruptive. The city’s airport, one of the busiest in Asia, was brought to a standstill earlier this week as protesters swarmed the terminal, resulting in the cancellation of flights.“Investors don’t want to delve deeply into politics but this is something they don’t want to see,” Wan said.Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan said Thursday that the city’s economy will struggle to expand at all this year, slashing the gross domestic product growth forecast to just 0%-1% from 2%-3% previously. Chan also announced fiscal support measures, with a stimulus package worth more than $2 billion.(Updates prices.)\--With assistance from Jeanny Yu.To contact the reporter on this story: Alfred Liu in Hong Kong at aliu226@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Mamudi at smamudi@bloomberg.net, Will Davies, Jun LuoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Asia Markets Mixed; Focus Remains on Treasury Yields
    FX Empire

    Asia Markets Mixed; Focus Remains on Treasury Yields

    Some investors may have been lulled into believing that recession is imminent and guaranteed, but that’s not the case with this inversion indicator. Research shows the stock market could rally for 15 months after the inversion, and recession may not start until 22 months after the first signal is flashed.

  • Political unrest in Hong Kong isn't likely to result in capital flight: expert
    Yahoo Finance

    Political unrest in Hong Kong isn't likely to result in capital flight: expert

    Hong Kong’s tumbling equity market is stoking fears for the economy, as well as the stability of the capital markets.

  • Hong Kong Stocks Rise as Bargain Hunters Descend After Rout
    Bloomberg

    Hong Kong Stocks Rise as Bargain Hunters Descend After Rout

    (Bloomberg) -- Stocks in Hong Kong and China rose, contrasting with losses elsewhere in Asia following a global sell-off.The Hang Seng Index closed up 0.8% after falling as much as 1.6%, lifted by property-related stocks. A gauge of Chinese stocks in Hong Kong climbed 0.4%. Both have lost around 16% from their April highs, weighed down by the U.S.-China trade dispute and protests in Hong Kong. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.3% and the yuan weakened slightly onshore. The small-cap ChiNext index rose 1.2%."The market was seriously distressed after earlier selloffs, so we’re seeing a dead cat bounce right now along with some possible short covering," said Alex Wong, Director of Asset Management at Ample Capital Ltd. The Hang Seng Properties Index gained 3.3%, its biggest increase since January, after weeks of anti-government protests in Hong Kong dragged the gauge to its lowest this year. New World Development Co. saw its biggest gain since 2009.Stocks dropped elsewhere in Asia after the U.S. government bond market sounded alarms over the health of the economy. The 10-year Treasury yield slipped below the rate on two-year bonds for the first time since 2007, in what is considered to be a signal of a U.S. economic recession beginning in next 18 months. Such expectations have been bolstered by signs that global growth is slowing, prompting investors to flee riskier assets.“The market is already is quite weak and this additional risk from the inverted curve would put more pressure on,” said Daniel So, strategist at CMB International Securities Ltd.Tencent Holdings Ltd. was a drag on Hong Kong stocks, falling as much as 4.2% after its quarterly revenue missed expectations. The results triggered several price cuts by analysts, who expect the social media giant’s online advertising business to remain sluggish due to intensifying competition.“Fear of a U.S. recession added to market worries as poor second-quarter economic data in Asia already concerned investors,” said Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment Corp. “Tencent’s earnings miss is also affecting the market.”Hong Kong Roiled by Recession Fears, Market Plunge, Retail SlumpMainland investors continued to pile into Hong Kong stocks via exchange links with Shanghai and Shenzhen as some investors see dip buying opportunities. They pumped money across the border to buy stocks for a 20th day on Thursday, spending $589 million according to data compiled by Bloomberg, extending the longest streak of inflows since February last year.Wharf Real Estate Investment Co., Link Reit and Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. added at least 4%, among the best performers on the Hang Seng Index. MTR Corp., which develops real estate in Hong Kong and operates the city’s railway network, advanced 4.4%.The Hong Kong dollar jumped as much as 0.17%, as 12-month forward points surged in a sign of tighter liquidity in the market. It pared the advance to 0.1%.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Amanda Wang in Shanghai at twang234@bloomberg.net;Kari Lindberg in Hong Kong at klindberg13@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sofia Horta e Costa at shortaecosta@bloomberg.net, David Watkins, Will DaviesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • This key investing metric is freaking out global markets
    Yahoo Finance UK

    This key investing metric is freaking out global markets

    Investors see the US Treasury yield curve as a barometer for the health of the global economy.

  • Weak Bank Shares an Early Drag on Asia Pacific Markets
    FX Empire

    Weak Bank Shares an Early Drag on Asia Pacific Markets

    Early Thursday, the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond dropped to a record low in the morning of Asian trading hours, breaking the 2% level for the first time, according to Reuters.

  • Hong Kong Faces New Threat as Chinese Companies Reconsider IPOs
    Bloomberg

    Hong Kong Faces New Threat as Chinese Companies Reconsider IPOs

    (Bloomberg) -- Several Chinese companies are rethinking fundraising plans in Hong Kong as anti-government protests rock the city, an ominous sign for its future as a financial gateway between Asia’s largest economy and the rest of the world.One company scrapped preliminary preparations for a $500 million initial public offering in Hong Kong partly because of the unrest and will instead pursue a U.S. listing, according to a senior banker on the deal, who asked not to be named discussing private information. Another banker said at least two companies are considering the same move for IPOs worth a combined $1 billion, adding that final decisions will depend on market conditions and whether the turmoil in Hong Kong eases.While the deals represent a small portion of the money raised by Chinese businesses in Hong Kong in recent years, they bode ill for the city’s status as one of the world’s premier financial hubs. Two senior bankers said Chinese clients are worried about more than just this week’s shutdown of Hong Kong’s airport and other logistical headaches caused by the protests; they’re also questioning whether the city will remain a stable place to do business over the long term.“The social and political instability has had an impact on people’s perceptions,” said David Cho, a partner at law firm Dechert LLP based in Hong Kong. “The pipeline isn’t looking strong for the remainder of the year, and things could get even worse if China decides to crack down more forcefully in Hong Kong.”The city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index has tumbled 12% over the past three weeks as clashes between protesters and police turned increasingly violent, raising fears that the Chinese military may intervene to restore order. The S&P 500 Index fell about 5% during the same period.The stakes could hardly be higher for Hong Kong, whose economy is highly dependent on the financial industry. Chinese companies accounted for $9 billion of the $11 billion raised via IPOs in the former British colony this year, as well as about 80% of bond sales in the city, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Outstanding China-related loans by Hong Kong banks totaled more than $560 billion at the end of the first quarter, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.The city faces competition from international hubs like the U.S. and Singapore, as well as financial centers in mainland China. A gradual loosening of restrictions on foreign investment has turned Shanghai and Shenzhen into increasingly feasible options for Chinese firms who want access to overseas funds.Even so, few expect China Inc. to abandon Hong Kong’s financial system en masse. U.S. markets are seen as a more stable, but their appeal to Chinese issuers has also diminished somewhat in recent months as the trade war soured relations between the two countries.One closely watched test of Hong Kong’s appeal is Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s proposed mega-listing in the city. The e-commerce giant has filed a listing application for a share sale that may raise as much as $20 billion, people familiar with the matter said in June, but the company has stayed quiet about its intentions since the protests escalated.Even if the Alibaba deal proceeds as planned, there’s little doubt that Chinese executives have become more wary of Hong Kong. In addition to those rethinking IPOs, several are canceling or postponing meetings with investors in the city to avoid the risk of getting caught up in protest-related violence or travel disruptions, bankers said. Some are using video conferences instead.Hong Kong’s turmoil has affected the financial industry in other ways. BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, postponed its Asia Media Forum in the city to February from September, a company spokeswoman said on Wednesday, so that “as many partners as possible” would be able to join.While CLSA Ltd. plans to go ahead with its popular annual forum in Hong Kong next month, the investment bank has hired a private security company for the event and is working on contingency plans that include a livestream in case some delegates are unable or unwilling to attend in person.\--With assistance from Tongjian Dong, Annie Lee, Andy Clarke and Alfred Liu.To contact the reporters on this story: Cathy Chan in Hong Kong at kchan14@bloomberg.net;Manuel Baigorri in Hong Kong at mbaigorri@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Mamudi at smamudi@bloomberg.net, Michael PattersonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Stock Turmoil Sparks a Wall Street Hunt for Cheap Hedges
    Bloomberg

    Stock Turmoil Sparks a Wall Street Hunt for Cheap Hedges

    (Bloomberg) -- The bad news for investors who waited this long to buy equity hedges is they’ve become eye-wateringly expensive. The good news is Wall Street thinks there are a few cheap strategies left.A gauge tracking the price of bearish S&P 500 options versus bullish contracts -- or skew -- sits near an all-time high, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Yet even now there are pockets of value for those waking up to risks like a U.S. recession, worsening trade war or Hong Kong unrest.“Cheap protection still exists if you know where to look,” Bank of America Corp. strategists led by Stefano Pascale wrote in a note Tuesday.Finding it takes some rummaging around in the complex underbelly of the options market.Pascale and team point out that while closer-to-the-money S&P 500 options prices have spiked, those further out-of-the-money remain relatively underbid. To capitalize on this “striking” phenomenon, they recommend a so-called put fly. The trade involves purchasing a bearish put option, selling two puts that are further below the current price and buying yet another that’s even further out of the money.The S&P 500 Index slumped 2.9% on Wednesday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 800 points. Risk assets were roiled by weak economic data from Germany and China and by recession warnings flashed by the bond market.For those concerned about European stocks, the bank suggests funding protection on the Euro Stoxx 50 with short VStoxx puts. And recent hedging from structured-products issuers has pushed down two-year at-the-money volatility on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, making long-dated options on the gauge appear relatively cheap, they said.Back in the U.S., S&P 500 skew remains elevated following last week’s sell-off. That’s somewhat unusual, according to Pat Hennessy, head trader at IPS Strategic Capital.“Generally, skew starts weakening after the first leg down as vol sellers roll options down and out and fear abates. Not at all the case right now,” Hennessy tweeted. Among the reasons for it could be portfolio managers holding more equity risk on their books and a relative dearth of put selling, he said.Macro Risk Advisors has also crunched the numbers to find the best places for worried investors to protect against growing turmoil.“U.S. technology, high yield, oil, emerging markets (e.g. broad EM, China, Brazil), EAFE, and FX implied volatility are all trading attractive to U.S. equity implied volatility,” strategist Maxwell Grinacoff wrote in a note Tuesday.Grinacoff suggests buying puts on benchmark emerging-market and oil ETFs, while touting put spreads on the largest Nasdaq-tracking fund, QQQ.(Updates with Wednesday market moves.)To contact the reporter on this story: Joanna Ossinger in Singapore at jossinger@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net, Yakob Peterseil, Samuel PotterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Asian markets rise as Hong Kong airport resumes flights after night of chaos
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Asian markets rise as Hong Kong airport resumes flights after night of chaos

    After mass flight cancellations on Monday and Tuesday, Hong Kong’s airport resumed operations, although many flights remain delayed or cancelled.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    WRAPUP 5-Clashes at Hong Kong airport after flights halted

    Police and protesters clashed at Hong Kong's international airport on Tuesday evening after flights were disrupted for a second day and the political crisis in the former British colony deepened. In Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump said the Chinese government was moving troops to the border with Hong Kong and he urged calm.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares fall after Argentina peso tumble, safe-havens shine

    Share markets fell for a third straight day on Tuesday as fears about a drawnout global trade war, protests in Hong Kong and a crash in Argentina's peso currency kept investors huddled in bonds, gold, and the Japanese yen for safety. If that wasn't enough, Europe's bourses and the euro were given an additional shove lower by an alarming German sentiment survey after some heavy falls in China, Hong Kong, Japan had also whacked down Asia overnight.

  • Asian Markets Weaken as Chinese Military Assembles Near Hong Kong Border
    FX Empire

    Asian Markets Weaken as Chinese Military Assembles Near Hong Kong Border

    Although Hong Kong’s airport reopened on Tuesday after it was shut down on Monday due to protestors staging a sit-in at the airport, one economist still described the situation in Hong Kong as “very disconcerting.”

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares shunted after Argentina crash, safe-havens shine

    Share markets fell for a third straight day on Tuesday as fears about a drawn out global trade war, protests in Hong Kong and a crash in Argentina's peso currency kept investors huddled in bonds, gold, and the Japanese yen for safety. Early 0.3%-0.6% drops from Europe's main indexes after some heavy falls in China, Hong Kong, Japan and other parts of Asia left MSCI's main 47-country world index down nearly 4% for August so far.

  • Stock market news: August 12, 2019
    Yahoo Finance

    Stock market news: August 12, 2019

    Stocks fell on Monday as escalating protests in Hong Kong weighed on already-dampened investor sentiment.

  • Asian Markets Finish Higher, but Europe, U.S. Dive after Hong Kong Shuts Airport
    FX Empire

    Asian Markets Finish Higher, but Europe, U.S. Dive after Hong Kong Shuts Airport

    Stocks reversed gains after Hong Kong International airport announced it has cancelled all departures for the remainder of the day, according to multiple media reports.

  • Cathay Pacific shares tank as it bows to China to sack staff over Hong Kong protests
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Cathay Pacific shares tank as it bows to China to sack staff over Hong Kong protests

    The airline bowed to pressure from China to fire staff that protested against a bill that allows authorities in Hong Kong to extradite locals to mainland China.

  • Asian Shares Mixed; Investor Focus Remains on Chinese Yuan Midpoint Fix
    FX Empire

    Asian Shares Mixed; Investor Focus Remains on Chinese Yuan Midpoint Fix

    The People’s Bank of China fixed its midpoint for the yuan at 7.0136 against the dollar on Friday – the second time this week the benchmark was set weaker than 7. China’s consumer price index in July rose 2.8% on-year – its fastest year on-year pace since February 2018, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

  • U.S. Shares Picking Up Positive Vibe from Europe, Asia
    FX Empire

    U.S. Shares Picking Up Positive Vibe from Europe, Asia

    The major U.S. stock indexes are expected to open the cash market higher, based on the pre-market futures trade. Investors are shifting toward “risk-on” sentiment because of a stable yuan and firming U.S. Treasury yields. These two markets will influence prices all session.

  • Chinese bears see trade war worsening, flee to safe havens, derivatives
    Reuters

    Chinese bears see trade war worsening, flee to safe havens, derivatives

    Many Chinese investors are piling into products that provide a hedge against a stock market collapse, convinced now that the Sino-U.S. trade war will drag on and, if anything, intensify. The dramatic shattering of a month-long truce between Beijing and Washington this month has dashed hopes of a trade deal, and these investors are bracing for more bad news, such as further sanctions on Chinese companies, pressure on ratings agencies to downgrade China’s credit rating and even moves to drive up the price of oil. Wee May Ling, a Singapore-based investment manager at Janus Henderson Investors, said sentiment changed swiftly this week as China's currency fell and Chinese firms stopped purchases of U.S. farm products.

  • Stocks, Treasury Yields Climb After Day-Long Dives: Markets Wrap
    Bloomberg

    Stocks, Treasury Yields Climb After Day-Long Dives: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. equities and benchmark Treasury yields mounted an impressive comeback late in the day, reversing sharp drops as investors turned more positive on the outlook for global growth amid central-bank moves to ease monetary policy.The S&P 500 Index eked out a modest gain after tumbling as much as 2%, with CVS Health Corp.’s biggest jump in almost eight years and an advance for the biggest tech companies supporting the gauge. Yields on 10-year Treasuries edged higher after an earlier plunge. Currency markets were volatile after rate cuts in New Zealand, India and Thailand.Traders are weighing asset valuations after this week saw the biggest one-day plunge in global equities since February 2018 amid fear an escalation in the trade war will spur a global recession. Threats of expanded tariffs are also creating uncertainty in corporate boardrooms, spurring concern there will be a pullback in capital outlays and a drop in earnings. Hope is resting on central banks to buoy growth.“A lot of investors feel like we’re getting ready to hit a wall because of the actions of the trade war,” said Bob Phillips, managing principal at Spectrum Management Group. “I’m hoping wiser heads will prevail in this trade battle and something will work out.”New Zealand’s dollar tumbled after a bigger-than-expected rate cut. The yuan dipped after China set its reference rate slightly weaker than expected. India’s rupee and the Thai baht slipped. The U.S. dollar was steady, while the yen gained and gold rallied toward $1,500 an ounce.The dovish moves by three central banks underscore the global shift toward easier policy even after the Federal Reserve’s unexpectedly hawkish stance last week. President Donald Trump again on Wednesday urged the Fed to ease policy, saying in a tweet that “They must Cut Rates bigger and faster, and stop their ridiculous quantitative tightening NOW.”Elsewhere, oil extended a decline after Brent crude closed in a bear market on Tuesday. The Stoxx Europe 600 erased most of an advance that reached 1.1% at one point. Shares were mixed and calmer in Asia, with Japanese stocks closing barely changed while equities in Shanghai fell.These are some key events to watch out for this week:A string of Fed policy makers speak this week, including Chicago’s Charles Evans on Wednesday.Here are the main moves in markets (all sizes and scopes are on a closing basis):StocksThe S&P 500 Index rose 0.1% at the close of trading in New York.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.2%.The MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.The euro rose 0.1% to $1.1215.The British pound declined 0.2% to $1.2146.The Japanese yen advanced 0.2% to 106.21 per dollar.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 1.71%.Germany’s 10-year yield decreased five basis points to -0.59%, hitting the lowest on record.Britain’s 10-year yield declined three basis points to 0.48%, the lowest on record.Japan’s 10-year yield dipped one basis point to -0.2%, the lowest in about three years.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude fell 2.4% to $52.32 a barrel, the lowest since early June.Gold gained 2% to $1,504.66 an ounce, the highest in more than six years.\--With assistance from Adam Haigh, Eddie van der Walt, Robert Brand, Claire Boston and Vildana Hajric.To contact the reporters on this story: Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.net;Olivia Rinaldi in New York at orinaldi1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Samuel Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net, ;Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Brendan WalshFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Asian Shares Mixed as Focus Remains on Yuan Midpoint
    FX Empire

    Asian Shares Mixed as Focus Remains on Yuan Midpoint

    “The decision by (Chinese President) Xi Jinping to allow the (Yuan) to dip a little bit is the Chinese equivalent of a tweet,” Daniel Russel, former assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs said.

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