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HK stocks dive after huge rally for five consecutive sessions
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The U.S. stocks' overnight slide and weakness in regional markets on concerns about the world economy sent Hong Kong shares sharply lower Tuesday.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 702.99 points, or 4.98 percent, to 13,405.85 after trading between 13,344.60 and 13,513. 50 during the session.

Turnover dropped to 38.50 billion HK dollars (4.97 billion U.S. dollars) from Monday's 43.93 billion HK dollars (5.67 billion U.S. dollars).

Traders said the local market is likely to consolidate further in the near term after rising 13 percent in the past five trading sessions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 7.7 percent overnight on weak manufacturing data from the U.S. and overseas, as well as an announcement from the National Bureau of Economic Research, which said the U.S. went into recession in December 2007.

Asian markets fell Tuesday, tracking the decline on Wall Street and as fears about a prolonged global economic slowdown grew. Japan's Nikkei 225 ended 6.4 percent lower, South Korea's Kospi Composite fell 3.3 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 ended down 4.2 percent, and the Weighted Price Index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange fell 3.6 percent. Although China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell, its 0.3 percent decline lagged losses on regional bourses, due to expectations Beijing will encourage more influential institutional investors to raise stock investments.

Heavyweight HSBC fell 6.4 percent to 79.00 HK dollars, contributing to a 138.5-point decline on the Hang Seng Index, while China Mobile dropped 3.4 percent to 70.30 HK dollars. Upstream oil company Cnooc ended 8.5 percent lower at 5.95 HK dollars.

The property sector fared the worst, with the subindex falling 4.9 percent due to HSBC's latest mortgage rate hike of up to 100 basis points. Wharf tumbled 11 percent to 16.70 HK dollars, Sino Land fell 9.6 percent to 5.55 HK dollars, Sun Hung Kai Properties ended down 3.5 percent at 58.80 HK dollars, and Henderson Land dropped 5.8 percent to 25.05 HK dollars. (7.743 HK dollars = 1 U.S. dollar).

(Xinhua News Agency December 2, 2008)

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