Hong Kong stocks widen losses to close down 1.76%

19:57, November 03, 2009      

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Hong Kong stocks opened slightly lower on Tuesday and widened their losses during the day's trading before closing down 1.76 percent.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index opened down 0.1 percent at 21,598. 63, ignoring moderate overnight gains on the Wall Street, and was down 0.71 percent by lunch break. It moved between 21,684.73 and 21,223.42 during the day's trading.

Turnover totaled 61.01 billion HK dollars (7.82 billion U.S. dollars), compared with Monday's 65.12 billion HK dollars (8.35 billion U.S. dollars).

Analysts said they expected the Hang Seng Index to continue to look to the United States and the Chinese mainland economy for further directions, tipping for the blue chip index to be bound within the 21,000-22,000 range in the near term.

Only five of the 42 constituents of the Hang Seng Index gained ground on Tuesday, two remained unchanged and the other 35 ended lower. The properties sub-index shed 2.71 percent, making it the leading loser among the four major stock categories. The finance category lost 1.65 percent, and the commerce and industry 1.75 percent.

The utilities shares ended down 0.98 percent.

Market heavyweight HSBC lost 0.75 percent at 85.7 HK dollars, contributing a decline of 23 points to the blue index. Local unit Hang Seng Bank edged up 0.18 percent.

China Mobile, the leading mobile carrier on the Chinese mainland, was down 1.76 percent. Smaller rival China Unicom tumbled 3.17 percent at 7.78 HK dollars.

The mainland-headquartered banks were all losers, with the biggest commercial lender ICBC down 2.06 percent, China Construction Bank down 2.36 percent and Bank of China down 2.65 percent. Insurance chip China Life was down 2.43 percent and Ping An 2.01 percent.

The oil shares were also lower, with PetroChina down 2 percent, Sinopec down 1.2 percent and offshore oil producer CNOOC down 2.86percent.

Cheung Kong, the flagship of Hong Kong's richest man Li Ka- shing, finished the day down 1.92 percent at 97.05 HK dollars. SunHung Kai Properties, the leading residential housing developer in Hong Kong, tumbled 3.74 percent at 113.4 HK dollars.

Instant messaging and online gaming software provider Tencent shed 3.56 percent, giving up some of the sharp gains recorded on Monday.

HKEx, the sole exchange operator in Hong Kong, was down 1.87 percent. (7.8 HK dollars = 1 U.S. dollar)

Source: Xinhua
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