Friday, October 10, 2008

Hong Kong stocks close down 7.19%

Hong Kong stocks tumbled 1,146. 37 points, or 7.19 percent, to close at 14,796.87 on Friday amid the global financial tsunami, marking the first time for the benchmark Hang Seng Index to end below 15,000 in about three years.

Turnover totaled a moderate 69.37 billion HK dollars , slightly higher than Thursday's 60.87 billion HK dollars .

All the 42 blue chip stocks lost ground, with market heavyweight HSBC Holdings shedding 8.2 HK dollars, or 6.95 percent, t 109.8 HK dollars, in spite of the London-headquartered banking giant saying it had abundant liquidity.

Analysts attributed the loss in its stock prices to tight credit market, as the banks remained unwilling to lend to each other despite high interbank rates, and to a spray of sell-off by fund managers as investors hurried to make redemptions.

HSBC local unit Hang Seng Bank, which adjusted its economic growth forecasts for Hong Kong in 2008 and 2009 on Friday, lost 7.55 percent at 109 HK dollars, while local player Bank of East Asia lost 3.59 percent to close at 20.15 HK dollars.

Mainland-based commercial banking group Bank of China went down6.59 percent, while BOC Hong Kong lost 7.56 percent at 11 HK dollars on high interbank loan interest rates.

The financial sub-index suffered a loss of 7.54 percent, and the properties issues lost 9.64 percent, which was the biggest loss among the four major categories. The utilities and the commerce and industry sub-indices shed 6.88 percent and 6.23 percent, respectively.

Mainland-based commercial banking giant ICBC lost 7.41 percent to close at 3.75 HK dollars, while China Construction Bank lost 7.64 percent to 3.75 HK dollars.

China Life turned out one of the biggest losers with a plummeting drop of 3.35 HK dollars, or 13.01 percent, at 22.4 HK dollars, contributing 108.68 points to the change of the blue chip index, which was second to only HSBC Holdings' 208.96 points.

China Mobile, another market heavyweight and by far the largest mobile carrier on the Chinese mainland, lost 4.32 percent to end at 66.4 HK dollars, with a local investor services institution saying the stock may outperform the market.

Cheung Kong, the real estate conglomerate headed by "superman" Li Ka-shing, closed down 8.10 HK dollars at 67.5 HK dollars. SHK Properties, the leading residential developer in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, tumbled 11.63 percent on fears the local banks might raise mortgage interest rates in the near future.

Oil giant PetroChina lost 0.37 HK dollars, or 5.81 percent, at 6 HK dollars and Sinopec ended down 8.56 percent at 4.81 HK dollars. Offshore oil producer CNOOC closed down 9.23 percent at 5. 9 HK dollars as international oil prices fell.

Shipping stock China COSCO closed down 8.04 percent at 4.69 HK dollars.

Source: Xinhua

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