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Friday, August 21, 2015, 16:30

HK stocks end at 14-month low

By Agencies

Hong Kong stocks fell for the sixth straight day on Friday to their lowest level 14 in months, with the benchmark Hang Seng Index posting its biggest weekly drop in almost four years, as global markets were roiled by concerns over a deteriorating Chinese economy.

The Hang Seng Index fell 1.5 percent, to 22,409.62, while the China Enterprises Index, which tracks large Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong, lost 2.0 percent, to 10,195.05 points.

Turnover totaled HK$118.28 billion (about US$15.24 billion), up from HK$105.07 billion the previous trading day.

For the week, Hang Seng lost 6.6 percent, its worst weekly performance since 2011.

All four sub-indices lost ground on Friday, with the Utilities sub-index falling the most by 1.86 percent, followed by the Finance down 1.69 percent, the Commerce and Industry 1.47 percent and the Utilities 0.88 percent.

Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., continued to lead the declines, closing at HK$28.05, down 4.43 percent.

Other blue-chips were broadly lower. Banking giant HSBC, which accounts for the largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, lost 0.69 percent to HK$64.9, while its local unit Hang Seng Bank retreated 2.6 percent to HK$138.8. Local bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd went down 2.04 percent at HK$191.7.

Local developers Hang Lung Properties slid 2.66 percent to HK$18.3. Sun Hung Kai Properties, another major developer in Hong Kong, fell 0.29 percent to HK$104, and Cheung Kong Holdings, a powerful Hong Kong-based developer controlled by billionaire Li Ka-shing, retreated 2.93 percent to HK$102.7.

As for mainland-based financial stocks, China Construction Bank, the country's second largest bank which accounts for the third largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, closed 2.2 percent lower at HK$5.79. ICBC, the world's largest bank by market value, ended at HK$4.93, down 1.6 percent. Bank of China fell 2.02 percent to HK$3.87.

Energy shares posted lackluster performances. PetroChina, the country's largest oil and gas producer, fell 2.5 percent to HK$6.63. Sinopec, the nation's top oil refiner, lost 2.67 percent to end at HK$5.43.

Heightened concerns about Chinese mainland's economy added to fears that money was flowing out of emerging markets amid the region's currency turmoil and an anticipated US interest rate hike.

An index tracking telecom stocks rose, led by Chinese telecom giants China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile on restructuring hopes.

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