Properties lead HSI fall

Rising US bond yields and a spate of negative corporate news sent Hong Kong stocks skidding yesterday.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 85.71 points to end at 11,338.93, a loss of 0.75 per cent.

Turnover was $3.5 billion, down from $4.93 billion on Friday. The market was closed on Monday.

The market opened on a weak footing after yields on US 30-year Treasury bonds rose to the 7 per cent level.

Patrick Chia, head of research at China Everbright Securities, said: 'US bond yields scared off some local investors.' He said 'good news' such as China interest rate cuts and the US Federal Reserve's decision to leave US rates unchanged had already been reflected, while negative news, such as H-share company results, was now hurting sentiment.

Disappointing results by H-share firms yesterday sent the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index plunging more than 2 per cent.

Property stocks took the most punishment, as higher interest rates would likely dampen home sales, analysts said.

Cheung Kong Holdings, New World Development and Henderson Land all closed lower.

The share price of Hopewell Holdings ended 2.2 per cent lower, on reports that the firm had scrapped plans to list its transportation unit, Consolidated Real Estate and Transport Asia.

SCMP Holdings fell 2.5 per cent. Brokers said the stock was ready for a correction after gaining more than 20 per cent in value since mid-July.

Brokers said the market was now entering a consolidation phase.

One trader pointed out that the Hang Seng Index's relative strength index (RSI) rose to 76 points at the end of last week, its highest since early February. RSI measures the strength of the current index level in relation to a previous period.

The index is based on a 100-point range, with a reading of 75 or higher indicating an over-bought market, while under 25 points indicates stocks being oversold.

'The RSI is still relatively high, with no more good news to play,' the trader said.

Lawrence Lok, senior sales manager at Sun Hung Kai Investment Service Management, said: 'The market should consolidate around this level, I can't see any reason to go higher.'