Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hong Kong stocks end lower on U.S. economy worries

Hong Kong shares fell 2.90 percent on Friday, as investors are concerned about slowing economic growth and uncertainty pending the result of the U.S. lawmaker's vote on the banking bailout bill.

The blue chip Hang Seng Index fell 528.71 points, or 2.9 percent, to end at an intraday low of 17,682.40, down 5.4 percent from a week earlier. Turnover totaled 53.28 billion HK dollars , down from 69.66 billion HK dollars Thursday, and averaged 62.43 billion HK dollars this week.

The Hang Seng index gave up 4.9 percent this week on worries over a likely recession in the world's largest economy despite a 700 billion U.S. dollars financial bailout package that is awaiting approval from U.S. lawmakers.

Analysts said investors will remain cautious even if the U.S. House passes the amended bill later Friday, because corporate earnings in the near future look dim as global economies wither.

Analysts said 17,000 would be a good support for next week, as some people expect the Chinese mainland to further ease tightening measures on the property sector after the week-long national holiday.

Developers tumbled on expectations of falling home prices. Cheung Kong fell 3.1 percent to 84.20 HK dollars, Sun Hung Kai Properties was down 3.5 percent at 74.00 HK dollars, and Hang Lung Properties fell 5.6 percent to 17.00 HK dollars.

Weaker oil prices also dragged oil firms lower. PetroChina fell5.3 percent to 7.71 HK dollars, Sinopec was down 2.6 percent at 6.08 HK dollars, while CNOOC was off 5.9 percent at 8.33 HK dollars.

Hang Seng Bank extended its losses, ending 5.9 percent lower at 123.70 HK dollars. The stock lost 14 percent in two days, after the bank disclosed its exposure to Washington Mutual Bank debt. Hang Seng Bank described the loss as 'immaterial,' but it didn't disclose details.

Also among large caps, China Mobile lost 3.26 percent at 77.1 HK dollars, HSBC was down 0.40 HK dollars at 123.2 and China Life shed 3.22 percent to 28.55 HK dollars.

Bloomage Biotechnology, a Chinese pharmaceutical company, ended at 1.04 HK dollars on its debut, or 4 percent above its 1.00 HK dollars IPO price.

China Resources Logic soared nearly 30 percent to end at 2.85 HK dollars after it said it secured rights to buy more gas projects from its parent company.

Source: Xinhua

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