Asian stocks drop in early Thursday trading

Most stocks in Asia continued to drop in early Thursday trading. Pessimism about the global economy put investors on edge following another bloodbath in U.S. equities. As of mid-session, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell more than 4 percent. Japan’s Nikkei Index also declined after opening higher. Trading halted in South Korea as stocks dropped beyond 8 percent. Chinese mainland markets also struggled to find their footing, despite generally smaller declines. Elsewhere, the Philippines plummeted over 20 percent, and Indonesia called a temporary halt in trading.

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In This Story: Hong Kong

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR), is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea. With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The whole territory was transferred to China in 1997. As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems”.

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  • In This Story: Indonesia

    Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a transcontinental country in Southeast Asia and Oceania, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It consists of more than seventeen thousand islands, including Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, and New Guinea. Jakarta is the capital.

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  • In This Story: Japan

    Japan is an island country in East Asia located in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan comprises an archipelago of 6,852 islands covering 377,975 square kilometers (145,937 sq mi); the country’s five main islands, from north to south, are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. Tokyo is Japan’s capital and largest city.

    Japan is divided into 47 administrative prefectures and eight traditional regions. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, with more than 37.4 million residents.

    Japan is a great power and a member of numerous international organizations, including the United Nations (since 1956), the OECD, and the G7. Japan is a leader in the automotive and electronics industries.

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  • In This Story: Philippines

    The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are broadly categorized under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao. Manila is the capital.

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  • In This Story: South Korea

    South Korea, an East Asian nation on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, shares one of the world’s most heavily militarized borders with North Korea. It’s equally known for its green, hilly countryside dotted with cherry trees and centuries-old Buddhist temples, plus its coastal fishing villages, sub-tropical islands and high-tech cities such as Seoul, the capital.

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