Hong Kong stocks plunged Wednesday as investors braced for further unrest following days of violent protests that have almost ground parts of the city to a halt, with police warning it was close to "total collapse".
After more than five months of standoffs, the demonstrations appear to have entered a much more violent phase.
And with the fighting showing no sign of easing, there are increasing worries about the outlook for a city known for its safety and ease of doing business, with police on Tuesday saying the rule of law was on "the brink of total collapse".
There are even whispers that Alibaba's plans for a share sale worth up to $15 billion in the city -- which reports said Wednesday were approved by regulators -- could be affected. The firm had already called off a summer listing owing to the protests and the China-US trade war.
The Hang Seng index sank 1.82 percent, or 493.82 points, to 26,571.46.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.33 percent, or 9.58 points lower, at 2,914.82, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, was marginally higher, adding 0.11 points to 1,614.30.
Source : AFP