Stocks down on mainland rate worries

Updated: 2010-11-13 07:26

(HK Edition)

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Hong Kong stocks declined, with the benchmark index dropping the most in more than four months, on speculation that the mainland is preparing to raise interest rates to curb inflation.

The Hang Seng Index (HSI) slipped 1.9 percent to close at 24,222.58. The mainland announced Thursday inflation accelerated to the fastest pace in two years last month.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 3 percent to 13,663.14.

The benchmark one-year lending rate will rise to 5.81 percent by year-end from 5.56 percent, according to the median forecast of 11 analysts polled after Thursday's price data.

Construction Bank slid 3.8 percent to HK$7.43. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd declined 3.1 percent to HK$6.61. Bank of China Ltd fell 2.4 percent to HK$4.56.

Inflation and policy risks will cloud "earnings visibility" for China's banks in 2011, reported by analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Friday.

Shenhua plunged 4.9 percent to HK$35.80. Jiangxi Copper slumped 6.5 percent to HK$24.35.

December-delivery copper on the Comex in New York fell 2.9 percent to $3.911 a pound, while Shanghai futures dropped the daily 5 percent limit to 65,640 yuan ($9,899) a ton.

Hutchison Harbour Ring Ltd soared 15 percent to HK$1.21, after a 22 percent rally Thursday.

Metallurgical Corp of China Ltd lost 2.7 percent to HK$3.56. The stock will be deleted from the H-share index after a quarterly review Thursday of the Hang Seng Indexes. So will Datang International Power Generation Co which declined 3.5 percent to HK$3.

Agricultural Bank of China Ltd fell 1.8 percent to HK$4.30. Guangzhou Automobile Group Co sank 5 percent to HK$12.62.

Futures on the HSI slid 2.1 percent to 24,188.


(HK Edition 11/13/2010 page3)