Asian Shares Retreated: tense relations of world’s 2 biggest economies hobble global business activity

On Wednesday, Asian shares slipped as investor concerns about the rising tensions between the United States and China hardened the optimism about a re-opening of the world economy.

The U.S. President Donald Trump said late on Tuesday that he is preparing to take action against China this week over its effort to impose the national security laws on Hong Kong, but gave no further details.

The Hong Kong shares led declines among the major regional indexes, with Hang Seng index falling 0.46% although it kept a bit of distance from a two-month low touched on Monday. The MSCI’s ex-Japan Asia-Pacific index fell 0.12%, with mainland Chinese shares are down a similar amount. And Japan’s Nikkei index was almost flat.

The ongoing bad relations between the world’s two biggest economies could further hobble global business activity that is already trying to sustain the intense pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reuters reported late Monday that Nasdaq Inc. [: NDAQ] plans to impose stricter regulation that may make it harder for some Chinese companies to list on its platform.  The Nasdaq would require companies from some countries to raise $25 million in their IPO (initial public offering) or 25% of the value of the company’s market capitalization after it makes a public debut.

The new rules are directed at China-based entities is not indicates by Nasdaq. Reuters report comes after Luckin Coffee Inc., and China’s largest coffee chain and a competitor to Starbucks Corp., last month revealed that the employees fabricated the sales figures of 2019. Luckin Coffee made its initial debut on Nasdaq and its trading on the exchange has been shut down. The issues with Luckin have raised broad concerns about the safety of a number of Chinese companies.