Hong Kong stock markets will continue trading during typhoons, starting Sept. 23

Hong Kong stock markets will continue trading during typhoons, starting Sept. 23

  • "Hong Kong is an international financial center and there is no reason for us not to align with international financial standards," Chief Executive John Lee said.
  • This means that the measure will kick in at the height of the typhoon season, which mainly occurs in August to September, according to climatological database Worlddata.info.

Hong Kong's financial markets will continue trading even during typhoons and extreme weather starting from Sept. 23, Chief Executive John Lee announced Tuesday.

Speaking at his weekly press conference, Lee said there was broad support to allow trading in extreme weather, in line with other cities.

"Hong Kong is an international financial center and there is no reason for us not to align with international financial standards," Lee said.

He noted that in consultations conducted by the Hong Kong Exchange, over 90% of brokerage firms and securities firms supported the proposal.

The decision comes as Hong Kong braces for the height of the typhoon season — which mainly occurs between August to September, according to climatological database Worlddata.info.

This puts an end to the city's decades long practice of shutting the city's 32.9 trillion ($4.2 billion) Hong Kong dollar market during severe rain or typhoons. Currently, the Hong Kong exchange halts trading when a typhoon signal or a so-called "black rainstorm warning" is issued.

According to the Hong Kong observatory, there were 11 tropical cyclones in 2023 that reached typhoon intensity or above — that's fewer than the 60-year average of about 15 from 1961 to 2020.

Currently, the Hong Kong exchange cancels the morning session if extreme weather conditions persist beyond 9 a.m. and before 11 a.m. local time. A full day's trading will be cancelled if extreme conditions extend beyond 12 p.m.

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