Stocks Fall as Hong Kong Unrest Fuels Investor Concerns

• Hong Kong’s benchmark stock index shed 2%

• Stocks in Europe dropped, led by banks and autos

• Gold rose 1% while U.S. Treasury yields slipped

Stocks dropped across the world as protests in Hong Kong, a political shake-up in Argentina and global trade tensions continued to fuel investors’ concerns about the global economy.

This week’s selloff in Hong Kong stocks accelerated, with the Hang Seng Index falling 2% Tuesday amid continued unrest. The gauge—which has lost 11% since the beginning of July, when the protests turned more violent—joined Korea’s Kospi as the second major world benchmark in negative territory this year.

Separately, Cathay Pacific shares fell another 3% after declining 4.9% on Monday, their steepest drop in three years. They slid after the Hong Kong airline threatened to fire staff for supporting the protests.

In Europe, the benchmark Europe Stoxx 600 index declined 0.4%, led lower by banks and auto companies. German consumer-goods company Henkel was among the worst performers, dropping 4.9% after it cut its full-year growth forecast.

Traders work at the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange on Aug. 12.


Photo:

Ricardo Ceppi/Getty Images

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked down 0.2%, following the index’s sharp drop Monday. The Argentine peso, which fell more than 30% briefly Monday amid political upheaval in the Latin American country, was largely flat against the U.S. dollar.

Gold, a traditional haven commodity, rose 1%, while the yields on U.S. 10-year Treasurys dipped to as low as 1.62% from Monday’s 1.64%. Yields fall as bond prices climb.

Later in the day, investors will pay close attention to the Labor Department’s July consumer-price index for signs of strengthening inflation, to gauge what impact it may have on the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decisions. In the previous month, core prices rose 0.1%.

Weakening price pressure was one of the factors behind the Fed’s decision to cut its benchmark rate last month.

Write to Steven Russolillo at steven.russolillo@wsj.com

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