HK Stocks Plunge 4 Pct on Mortgage Rate Hike - 江西翻译网
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HK Stocks Plunge 4 Pct on Mortgage Rate Hike
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Hong Kong stocks plunged 801.41 points, or 4.29 percent, to close at 17,880.68 on Monday, as Hong Kong-based property counters fell more on mortgage-rate hike news.

Turnover fell to 54.97 billion HK dollars (7.08 billion U.S. dollars) from Friday's 54.99 billion HK dollars (7.08 billion U.S. dollars).

HSBC, the largest local bank, raised mortgage rate for new homebuyers in Hong Kong by 50 basis points with effect from Monday, which likely to dampen interest in sector further near-term.

Investors were also jittery as the financial crisis claimed new victims among European banks.

Analysts said that other Hong Kong banks were set to follow HSBC's move. Peter Lai at DBS said that the sentiment remains sluggish as there are lack of positive catalysts in the overall market, indicating that trading will remain volatile as current financial crisis turmoil persists in the near term.

Other analysts said that there was no indication when the current selloff could be finished as there were no positive leads in the future to attract investors' attention.

Hong Kong stocks opened 0.04 percent higher Monday at 18,690.11, but moved down 395.16 points, or 2.12 percent, to close morning session at 18,286.90.

The Hang Seng Index once fell to the low of 17,796.34, down 885. 75 points, and fluctuated between 17,796.34 and 18,742.25. during the day trading.

Among large-caps, HSBC lost 2.1 HK dollars or 1.69 percent at 122.4, China Mobile was down 2.80 HK dollars or 3.6 percent at 75. 0, China Life fell 1.35 HK dollars or 4.6 percent to 28.0 and China Construction Bank was down 0.32 HK dollars or 6.12 percent at 4.91.

Property firm New World Development was down 1.25 HK dollars or 13.19 percent at 8.23, while coal firm China Shenhua Energy lost 2. 4 HK dollars or 11.76 percent at 18.0.

Ping An Insurance tumbled over 10 percent, extending Friday's 9. 7 pct fall, on worries about possible losses on its investment in Europe's Fortis, which was nationalized by Benelux governments.

BYD Co Ltd soared over 40 pct after news that it will sell nearly 10 pct stake to a unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.


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