HK stocks end down on Euro debt concerns, Foxconn leads decline

08:41, May 18, 2011      

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Hong Kong shares ended 0.26 percent lower on Tuesday as the market continued to be weighed by the weak U.S. economic data and concerns over Europe's debt crisis following the arrest of International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on sexual assault charges.

Hong Kong stocks lost 59.55 points, or 0.26 percent, to close at 22,901.08 on Tuesday. The benchmark Hang Seng Index traded between 22,768.03 and 22,967.88. Turnover totaled 63.39 billion HK dollars (about 8.15 billion U.S. dollars).

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 56.42 points, or 0. 45 percent, to close at 12,733.21.

Three sub-indices lost ground, with the Properties sub-index falling the most by 0.94 percent, followed by the Commerce and Industry 0.30 percent, the Finance 0.14 percent. The Utilities gained 0.28 percent.

Foxconn International was the worst-performing blue chip of the day, falling 3.0 percent to 3.92 HK dollars. The stock has now fallen 10.5 percent since the compiler of the Hang Seng Index said on Thursday the company will be removed from the benchmark index in June.

Almost all local property developers fell because of rising mortgage rates. Hang Lung Properties dropped 2.0 percent to 32.75 HK dollars, Sun Hung Kai Properties fell 1.6 percent to 118.50 HK dollars and Henderson Land was off 1.6 percent at 50.80 HK dollars.

In mid-April, HSBC raised rates on certain mortgage loans for new customers, while other major banks have hiked mortgage rates since March.

Mainland developers bucked the trend because of hopes China will ease up on tightening in the real estate sector in the second half of the year after it said on Thursday it would raise banks' reserve requirement ratio by 0.50 percentage point from May 18, the eighth such move since November.

China Resources Land rose 2.8 percent to 13.44 HK dollars and China Overseas Land was up 1.4 percent at 14.88 HK dollars.

Heavyweight HSBC Holdings lost 0.67 percent to 81.25 HK dollars, while Hang Seng Bank added 0.50 percent to 120.90 HK dollars.

Among other blue chips, HKEX, the city's sole bourse operator, closed 0.18 percent higher to 171.70 HK dollars. Hutchinson Whampoa closed down 0.46 percent at 86.40 HK dollars. (7.777 HK dollars = 1 U.S. dollar)

Source: Xinhua
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