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HK stocks plunge 3.47% on regional markets' fall
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20:21, April 14, 2008

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Hong Kong stocks plunged 856.59 points Monday, or 3.47 percent, to close at 23,811.2 points, tracking regional markets' fall.

Turnover shrank to 74.85 billion HK dollars (9.61 billion U.S. dollars) from Friday's 77.14 billion HK dollars (9.91 billion U.S. dollars with blue chips falling across the board. The H-shares index, tracking the performance of mainland stocks listed in Hong Kong, dived 5.2 percent at 12,664.21 points.

Chinese mainland financial and property firms took a particularly big hit on speculation that upcoming economic data will prompt Beijing to curb credit further.

Dealers here said that near-term outlook for Hong Kong market would stay volatile given more results of economic data due out in U.S. this week, while current sell-off in A-share markets may not pause in near-term.

The U.S markets slumped Friday after GE, considered a barometer of the U.S. economy due to its diversified operations, reported a 6.0 percent drop in first-quarter profit and cut its forecast for the full year.

On Monday, all major Asian markets fell following a 2.0 percent drop in the Dow Jones industrial average last Friday. The Chinese mainland's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dived 5.6 percent, close at 3,296.67.

In Hong Kong, heavyweight HSBC fell 1.6 percent to 130.7 HK dollars and China Mobile skid 3.7 percent to 126 HK dollars, respectively.

The six mainland banks moved lower comprehensively. CCB that recorded a 49.27 percent annual profit growth for last year was down 5.81 percent, ICBC down 5.85 percent, Bank of China down 2.92percent, Bankcomm down 4.18 per cent, CM Bank down 4.02 percent and CITIC Bank down 3.63 percent.

The three mainland insurers also dropped. China Life, Ping An and PICC P&C sank 4.59 percent to 5.77 percent, respectively.

Mainland property stocks slumped. China Overseas, Country Garden, China Res Land, Agile Property, R&F Properties and Shimao Property sagged 3.02 percent to 11.34 percent, respectively.

As for energy stocks, PetroChina and CNOOC dropped 5.41 percent and 4.84 percent, while Sinopec Corp trimmed 5.31 percent.

Coal stock China Shenhua was down 3.23 percent, China Coal down3.13 percent and Yanzhou Coal down 5.13 percent.

On gold stocks side, Zijin Mining was down 5.79 percent and Zhaojin Gold Mining down 5.79 percent. (One U.S. dollar =7.784 HK dollars)

Source: Xinhua

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