HONG KONG stocks yesterday fell to their lowest point since July 30, 1993, with the Hang Seng Index plummeting 310.17 points to 6,967.93. This was the worst daily performance since November 21, 1994, when it fell 355 points to 8,948. Investors around the region were hurt as sell was on the lips of brokers, dealers and analysts stretching from Tokyo to Jakarta. Later in the day the selling continued in London and New York. The Hang Seng London Reference index was down 89.46 points in afternoon trading, taking the estimate of the Hang Seng Index to 6,878.47. The Shanghai Banking Corporation was down 35 pence to 590 p, and Cable and Wireless was 15 p lower at 354 p. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average, which fell 12.78 points on Friday, was down 25.23 points to 3,844.20 after morning trading. Falling equity prices saw 1,054.7 points, or 5.6 per cent, come off the mighty Japanese Nikkei 225 index, taking it to a 12-month low of 17,785. Investors were worried about the cost of reconstruction of earthquake-devastated Kobe and they also feared a rise in interest rates by the US Federal Reserve Board at the end of the month. 'News reports are showing the seriousness of the damage [from the earthquake] each day,' said Kaoru Ichikawa from Kokusai Securities. 'The [Japanese] Government was slow to respond and the delayed measures may be fatal to Japan's economy.' In confidence-rocked Asia, Singapore was one of the worst hit, falling 111.67 points, or 5.5 per cent, to 1,916.94 on the Straits Times Index. Concern about the state of the property market also helped to undermine sentiment and trigger overseas investors to liquidate their holdings. In Indonesia, the Jakarta Composite index fell 2.2 per cent. In Korea stocks were off 3.8 per cent. In Thailand they were down 4.8 per cent and in Malaysia they were down 3.9 per cent. The worst of the selling in Hong Kong was in financial and property stocks, as investors feared the worst for the local property market, where prices have fallen 20 per cent in 10 months. Intervention by the Government to help ailing new property prices was ruled out. The Secretary for Financial Services, Michael Cartland, said government action to slow price rises last year had yet to have a full impact. 'This will take some time to have an effect on the market. So the current slowdown is more sentiment driven. Sentiment is a fragile thing, it comes and goes. So the Government has no plan to intervene in the stock market.' The Hang Seng Property Index shed 493.7 points to 11,284.6, or 4.19 per cent, during yesterday's sell-off. Investors are fearful that tomorrow's scheduled government land auction will be a flop with two of the sites up for sale being withdrawn. James Capel Asia research director Philip Niem yesterday said: 'Today's fall was liquidity driven. Mutual fund investors have just decided to pack it in.' Analysts locally expect the holocaust of selling to continue, taking the Hang Seng Index down to 6,000, another 14 per cent off yesterday's close and a massive 50.8 per cent off the last record close on the index of 12,201 on January 4, 1994. Along with the property and interest rate fears, worries about the health of China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping was adding to the selling pressure, scaring off retail investors. The biggest selling was in Hongkong Telecom, down 50 cents to $13.25, and HSBC, which fell $4 to $71.25. The regional director of Barclays International Fund Managers, Roger Pyrke, said: 'Sentiment remains very poor and we would not be surprised to see the market go lower.'