Hong Kong stocks crashed through support levels yesterday to end sharply lower on the back of a jump in the US long-bond yield and a sell-off on Wall Street. Brokers said there had been selling across the board amid further indications that foreign funds were trickling out of the territory. It was the sixth consecutive fall and took the blue-chip index to its lowest close in four months. Lino Delgado, associate director at Amsteel Securities, said: 'The bond yield has almost gone to 7 per cent and that has a lot of fund managers on the edge of their seats.' Brokers said there was widespread concern that the US Federal Reserve would push up interest rates when its policy-makers meet on March 25. The Hang Seng Index lost 1.39 per cent to 12,736.53 points. It has shed 600 points over the week, its worst performance in a year. Turnover was $12.52 billion, compared with $10.22 billion on Thursday. The market opened lower and slumped a further 80 points in the first few minutes of trade. The bears were out in force after higher than expected US retail sales figures for February triggered a rise of eight basis points in the long-bond yield to 6.95 per cent. The Dow sold off heavily. The Hang Seng Index touched an intra-day low of 12,630.15 points before bargain hunters rolled back some of the losses. In the afternoon, hedge funds and momentum players bought heavily, pushing the index up further to a high of 12,807.23, brokers said. As buying stopped, the market fell right back to 12,750 points within minutes. Banks, properties and conglomerates were all hit. HSBC slipped 1.6 per cent to $185 and Hang Seng Bank was 0.61 per cent weaker at $82.25. Properties continued to slip, with Sun Hung Kai Properties down 1.77 per cent to $83.50, Cheung Kong off by 2.13 per cent to $69 and Henderson Land 2.33 per cent lower at $63. Conglomerate Swire Pacific dropped 2 per cent to close at $61.50. Earlier, steeper losses were pared on news that the company's attributable profit for last year exceeded forecasts. Brokers said there were further signs that investors were quitting the territory's market. Dan Chuman, head trader at Daiwa Securities, said: 'There's been some Japanese money going to Singapore and Malaysia [and] looking at Thailand too. There's a re-focus going on in the region.' Only four index constituents advanced, including China Light & Power, which rose 1.14 per cent to $35.20, and Hongkong Electric, which added 1.3 per cent to $27.25. Utilities typically perform well when rate-sensitive stocks are under pressure. Brokers said that trading would probably remain volatile next week. Wall Street's reaction to the release of producer price inflation figures late yesterday would influence market sentiment next week, especially if the figures showed any signs of inflation, they said.