HK stocks end lower tracking Wall Street weakness

21:06, January 25, 2010      

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Hong Kong shares ended lower on Monday, tracking losses on Wall Street, with Chinese banks leading the decline.

The blue-chip Hang Seng Index fell 127.63 points, or 0.62 percent, to close at 20,598.55 after trading between 20,422.67 and 20,619.70. The index has fallen in nine of the last 10 sessions.

Turnover fell sharply to 63.4 billion HK dollars (8.17 billion U.S. dollars) from Friday's 104.17 billion HK dollars (13.42 billion U.S. dollars).

The index was also weighed down by weakness on Wall Street on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 216.90 points, or 2.09 percent, to 10,172.98, its third straight day in the red and its biggest one-day drop since Oct. 30.

Analysts said the index also faces further downward pressure because of concerns over a rate hike in China, even though valuations are becoming attractive following recent falls.

Some analysts believed a major correction will come if the benchmark breaks psychological support of 20,000 points in the near term, and expected the index to find near-term support at 18, 000.

Three of the four major sub-indices lost ground. The finance sub-index fell most at 1.37 percent, followed by the properties at 0.28 percent and the commerce and industry at 0.06 percent. The utilities rose 1.34 percent.

Heavyweight HSBC fell 1.6 percent to 84.30 HK dollars.

Bank of China dropped 2.1 percent to 3.81 HK dollars after it said over the weekend it plans to seek shareholder approval for a mandate to sell new shares amounting to up to 20 percent of its existing shares.

Bank of Communications slid 2.5 percent to 8.18 HK dollars. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China lost 0.7 percent to 5.81 HK dollars. China Construction Bank shed 1.1 percent to 6.13 HK dollars.

At oil stocks' side, CNOOC slid 1.04 percent. PetroChina fell 0. 76 per cent. Sinopec Corp lost 0.79 percent.

Property stock Cheung Kong rose 0.57 percent after obtaining the development right for the Yee Kuk Street reconstruction project.

Among other blue chips, HKEX was down 1.38 percent, while Cathay Pacific fell 1.34 per cent.

Bucking the overall market, CNNC International jumped 8.3 percent to 8.88 HK dollars. The Chinese uranium resources firm said it will acquire a 37.2 percent stake in the Azelik uranium mine in Niger through an acquisition of Ideal Mining Ltd. for up to 414 million HK dollars.

Source: Xinhua
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