Hong Kong shares fall, banks close amid protests

KONFRONTASI - In Hong Kong, shares have tumbled and banks have temporarily closed down as protesters demanding election reforms continue to take to the streets despite confrontation by police forces.

On Monday, shares fell and Hong Kong’s dollar dropped to a six-month low while some schools, businesses, and banks closed down as a result of the protests.

Banks in Hong Kong including HSBC, Citigroup, Bank of China, Standard Chartered, and DBS temporarily closed down some branches.

Hong Kong also announced that all committee meetings at the city's legislative building, which has become a major gathering point for demonstrators, would be cancelled.

The protests continue a day after police fired tear gas and used pepper spray to break up crowds.

The unrest was triggered after China refused to allow open nominations for the city’s next chief executive in 2017.

Demonstrators have been calling on the city’s chief executive to step down.

China has said it will introduce universal suffrage for the city’s 2017 election, but wants a committee to approve the candidates.

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. The financial hub has enjoyed substantial political autonomy since 1997, when its leadership returned to China after about a century of British colonial rule.[presstv]