Hong Kong shares fell 0.55 per cent in thin trade yesterday amid increasing signs that international investors were shunning the mainland. The Hang Seng Index shed 50.6 points to end at 9,139.6. Turnover was $2.39 billion. Four of the past five trading days have seen turnover below $3 billion, and few analysts expect the trend to change until after next week's Lunar New Year holiday. 'It's not going to be too rosy before the holiday,' said Core Pacific-Yamaichi head of sales Terry Cheung Kam-shing. The official withdrawal of Shandong International Power Development's new share issue further soured sentiment, brokers said. Despite marketing by lead manager United States-based Goldman Sachs and a handful of other brokerages, global investors could not be swayed to take a chance on the would-be H-share power company. 'This has a dragging effect,' said South China Research utilities analyst Lachlan Christie. He said the company's initial public offering was being marketed at seven to nine times prospective earnings, compared with price-earnings ratios of 5.5 to 6 times for Beijing Datang Power Generation and Huaneng Power International. The share prices of the other two mainland companies, however, were mixed as it became apparent that the Shandong road show was not going smoothly. The battered mainland share sectors held up fairly well yesterday. The H-share index edged down 0.45 per cent to 293.77 points, while the red-chip index slipped 0.11 per cent to 659.52 points. Mr Cheung said he feared neither bad nor good news would be able to move impassive investors until after the holiday. For example, the market failed to respond to good news over the weekend on the property front, he said. Sun Hung Kai Properties' Le Sommet luxury development in North Point sold more than 90 per cent of the 300 units on sale. 'If this good news for property sales cannot push up the index, then it looks like there will be some further drop overall in the market,' he said. Both Cheung Kong and Hutchison Whampoa are back to trading below $50. Cheung Kong fell 1.6 per cent to $49, while Hutchison declined 1.67 per cent to $49.90. Analysts said the Hang Seng Index could drop below the 9,000-point level this week. Celestial Asia Securities sales director Eugene Law said the market was trying to test the 9,000-point level, 'and there're plenty of excuses to do that, including [rising interbank interest rates], Brazil worries and bank results'.