Friday, March 07, 2008

Chinese banks drag HK shrs, China plays hit 3-wk low

Hong Kong stocks fell for a third straight day on Tuesday, hit by sinking mainland stock markets and a prevailing caution ahead of a spate of blue chips' earnings this week.

Chinese lenders and insurers slumped, in line with mainland-listed financial shares, which tumbled on concerns that Ping An Insurance's <> shareholders may approve its huge stock issue plan on Wednesday.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index <.HSI> ended down 2 percent at 23,119.87. The China Enterprises Index of Hong Kong-listed mainland companies <.HSCE>, or H shares, finished down 3.5 percent at 12,972.21, having earlier hit its lowest level in three weeks.

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