HK stocks end at nearly 10-month low, breaking 19,000 mark

20:42, May 25, 2010      

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Hong Kong stocks plunged on Tuesday to their lowest level since July 17, 2009 and broke the psychological 19,000-mark, tracking declines in world's stock markets.

The benchmark Hang Seng index closed down 682.26 points, or 3.47 percent, to end at 18,985.50 points, after trading between a day high of 19,328.36 and a day low of 18,974.52 points.

The H-share index, which track the overall performance of 44 major Chinese mainland State-owned enterprises, tumbled 4.57 percent, or 513.5 points, to end at 10,729.05 points.

Turnover totaled 67.93 billion HK dollars (8.71 billion U.S. dollars) compared with Monday's 64.65 billion HK dollars.

It was the poorest performance since July 17 last year when the benchmark Hang Seng index closed at 18,805.66 points.

Investors in Hong Kong took cues from other markets and sold on a panic. The Wall Street fell to a three-month low overnight amid the debt crisis in European countries while regional markets such as Japan and the Repubic of Korea tumbled amid investors' concerns over the political tension in the Korean Peninsula.

Almost all heavyweights tumbled in the day. The mainland's two leading oil companies, Sinopec and PetroChina, both of which are among the 43 constituent stocks of the Hang Seng Index, fell 3.49 percent and 3.74 percent, respectively. Sinopec ended at 5.81 HK dollars per share while PetroChina closed at 7.97 HK dollars.

Another oil firm CNOOC, the HK-listed unit of China's National Offshore Oil Corp., tumbled 6.1 percent to 11.7 HK dollars.

Mainland's commodity firms also suffered huge losses.

Chalco, China's top aluminum producer, plunged 6.44 percent to end at 5.96 HK dollars. Major coal producer China Shenhua, also one of the 43 constituent stocks of the Hang Seng Index, tumbled 6.75 percent to 28.3 HK dollars.

Mainland's financial shares also went down in the day. Shares of the ICBC, the world's largest bank by market value, lost 3.22 percent to close at 5.41 HK dollars.

China Construction Bank, one of the country's four largest State-owned banks, moved down 3.54 percent to 6 HK dollars. Another major lender, Bank of China, fell 2.76 percent to 3.88 HK dollars.

China Life, one of the world's largest life insurers by market value, dropped 4.12 percent to 32.55 HK dollars per share. Shares of Ping An were down 5.38 percent to 58 HK dollars.

China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator by subscribers, fell 3.03 percent to 71.95 HK dollars. Shares of the HSBC, one of the world's biggest banks, lost 2.93 percent to end at 69.55 HK dollars.

Foxconn International, the only constituent stock from China's Taiwan, was the worst-performance blue chip after media reports that another worker of its plant in neighboring Shenzhen fell to death, 11th such fall this year. Its shares plunged nearly 10 percent to close at 5.31 HK dollars.

Source: Xinhua


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