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HK shares drop by 0.15%
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Hong Kong share prices closed weaker on Monday following a 4 percent drop on the Shanghai bourse, as market caution remains ahead of a raft of US economic data and futures contracts settlement this week.

The Hang Seng Index dropped by 35.90 points, or 0.15 percent, to 23,269.14, after trading between 23,552.99 and 23,164.97 during the session.

Turnover reached 63.69 billion HK dollars (8.18 billion U.S. dollars), down from 73.89 billion HK dollars (9.47 billion U.S. dollars) Friday.

Utilities stocks were in focus as investors sought out safe havens amid an uncertain market outlook, while shipping firms also mostly outperformed on a recent improvement in freight rates.

China Unicom fell 4.7 percent to 17.40 HK dollars after its parent tumbled 10 percent in Shanghai amid rumors of an additional A-share issue. The parent denied it had any fund-raising plan.

Among utilities, CLP Holdings raised 2.45 HK dollars or 4.05 percent to 62.95 HK dollars. Hong Kong and China Gas was up 1.14 percent at 22.15 HK dollars, Hong Kong Electric up 0.88 percent at 46.05 HK dollars and CKI Holdings up 1.85 percent at 30.25 HK dollars.

The finance sub-index went down 40.91 points or 0.13 percent to 32,406.55.

The properties sub-index dropped 100.99 points or 0.33 percent at 30,078.38.

The commerce and industry sub-index went down 57.14 points or 0.41 percent to 14,010.39.

The utilities sub-index soared 985.89 points or 2.33 percent at 43,211.69.

(Xinhua News Agency February 26, 2008)

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