Hong Kong stocks close 0.81% lower

19:10, December 18, 2009      

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Hong Kong stocks lost 171.75 points, or 0.81 percent, to close at 21,175.88 on Friday.

The Hang Seng Index opened 185.2 points lower and once narrowed its loss to more than 60 points at 21,281.91. Gathering selling pressure then sent the index lower and left it tumbling afterward.

Turnover totaled 69.75 billion HK dollars (8.99 billion U.S. dollars).

Three of the four major stock categories suffered loss of different degrees. The properties sub-index dropped the most at 1.71 percent. The commerce and industry fell 0.44 percent, the finance sub-index down 0.98 percent. Meanwhile, the utilities sub-index gained 0.27 percent.

Market observers say the jitters among investors mainly came from a possible fund outflow in the wake of a recently stronger U.S. dollar and increasing warning about potential property bubbles in Hong Kong.

Among the blue chips, HSBC dipped 0.85 percent to 87.45 HK dollars; the country's leading telecom service provider China Mobile gained 0.71 percent to 71.3 HK dollars while the sole market operator HK Exchange dropped 0.44 percent to 134.9 HK dollars.

For Hong Kong's local property developers, Cheung Kong tumbled 1.08 percent to 96.05 HK dollars, Henderson Land down 3.08 percent to 55 HK dollars while SHK shedding 0.87 percent to 113.7 HK dollars.

Hong Kong-listed Chinese financial stocks fell across the board. China's biggest commercial lender ICBC fell 1.74 percent to 6.2 HK dollars. China Construction Bank, which was one of the most actively traded blue chips this week, slid 1.4 percent to 6.36 HK dollars. Bank of China outperformed by retreating only 0.25 percent.

The two insurers China Life and Ping An registered negative growth of 0.92 percent and 0.3 percent respectively.

Oil stocks trod further into loss despite that oil prices inched to near 73 U.S. dollars a barrel Friday in Asia amid expectations OPEC plans to leave production levels unchanged at its meeting next week.

For the two stocks debuted on Friday, oil pipe maker Shengli and edible oil producer China Corn Oil put on quite different performances, with the former diving 15.45 percent while the latter jumping 21.45 percent compared to their offering prices.

Source: Xinhua
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