Hong Kong cancels typhoon warning, stock market re-opens


Pedestrians use umbrellas as they cross a road in the rain after Typhoon Higos swept past overnight, in Hong Kong on Wednesday. (Photo: AFP)
Pedestrians use umbrellas as they cross a road in the rain after Typhoon Higos swept past overnight, in Hong Kong on Wednesday. (Photo: AFP)

HONG KONG: All typhoon warnings were cancelled after Hong Kong’s strongest storm this year moved away from the city, allowing businesses to reopen and stock trading to start.

The city’s observatory issued the advisory at 1.20pm (12.20pm Bangkok time), after earlier raising it to as high as the second-gravest No.9 signal, according to a statement on its website. Most businesses close and public transport becomes limited when the No. 8 signal or above is in place. Trading in the $5.8 trillion equity market opened at the delayed time of 1.30pm after the morning session was scrapped. The benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped as much as 0.4%.

The shutdown came as city faced its toughest social distancing restrictions so far due to a flare up of coronavirus cases, with restaurants forced to stop dine-in services at 6pm, public gatherings of more than two people banned and school lessons taking place online.

At 1 pm, Tropical Storm Higos was centred about 190 kilometres west northwest of Hong Kong’s observatory and will probably continue to weaken, the observatory said.

The government said authorities received 53 reports of fallen trees and two flooding cases as of 11am. Temporary shelters provided refuge for 103 people and seven individuals sought medical treatment in public hospitals, it said.

In 2018, the city raised the maximum No.10 signal when Typhoon Mangkhut left the city with roads blocked, buildings damaged and low-lying areas flooded.



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