HK stocks plunge 1.93 pct, biggest decline since February



Hong Kong stocks plunged 1.93 percent on Wednesday, the biggest drop since February, amid concerns that the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates earlier than expected.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index moved down 485.09 points to close at 24,705.36 points, after trading between a day high of 29,969.39 points and a day low of 24,681.19 points.

Turnover expanded to 79.72 billion HK dollars (10.29 billion U. S. dollars) from Monday's 56.44 billion HK dollars.

The H-Share Index moved down 290.78 points, or 2.55 percent, to end at 11,117.89 points.

Banking giant HSBC ended down 0.84 percent at 82.25 HK dollars. China Mobile, China's dominant mobile carrier, ended down 2.57 percent at 98.7 HK dollars.

For mainland lenders listed in Hong Kong, ICBC, China's largest bank by market value, edged down 2.44 percent at 5.19 HK dollars; CCB, the country's second largest lender by market capitalization, ended down 2.35 percent at 5.81 HK dollars; BOC, one of the "big four," ended down 2.14 percent at 3.66 HK dollars.

For local property developers, Sun Hung Kai, HK's largest property developer by market value, ended down 0.51 percent at 117. 9 HK dollars; Cheung Kong properties, owned by billionaire Li Ka- shing, edged down 1.91 percent to close at 138.6 HK dollars.

PetroChina, the country's largest oil and gas producer, ended down 3.49 percent at 11.06 HK dollars. Sinopec, China's top refiner, ended down 3.18 percent at 7.92 HK dollars.

China Life, one of the world's largest life insurers by market value, ended down 2.71 percent at 23.3 HK dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 7.75 HK dollar).