Hong Kong shares slid 2.4 per cent yesterday in futures-led trading dominated by rates fears. The Hang Seng Index lost 367.64 points to 14,901 - its lowest close since April 17 - on a weak turnover of HK$7.7 billion. 'The rates [fears] set the tone, the futures set the decline and the cash market has wallowed,' Credit Suisse First Boston sales trader Jonathan Guernsey said. 'There were quite a lot of shorts put in place on the futures market by local players and that pretty much set the tone for the day.' May index futures dived 478 points to settle at 14,822. The June contract fell 470 points to 14,860. Bank and property stocks were hit hard as brokerages have forecast that United States policy-makers will raise interest rates 50 basis points at their meeting next week. China Telecom dropped 3 per cent to $56.50, while Hutchison slid 2.81 per cent to $103.50. The two stocks, together with HSBC, off 1.74 per cent to $84.25, accounted for about 60 per cent of yesterday's blue-chip losses. 'There was lacklustre interest from foreign investors,' another dealer said. 'I think we've got to get these [rate rises] out of the way. I think they're just scared.' High-technology counters - normally a relative haven before an interest rate rise - also faced selling pressure, with the technology-heavy Growth Enterprise Market Index falling 35.96 points, or 5.44 per cent, to 623.92. This was despite strong gains for the Nasdaq Composite Index last Friday. Analysts attributed the Hong Kong slide to a fall in Asian-traded US index futures. ABN Amro Internet analyst Jahanzeb Naseer said: 'People [were] expecting weakness in the [Nasdaq] market when it [opened late yesterday].' He also said that Nasdaq lock-up periods - in which directors cannot sell shares obtained in the initial public offering - would expire next month for a few weighty stocks. He said these shares were worth US$122 billion and 'could see huge selling'. Pacific Century CyberWorks took a battering, finishing 6.27 per cent lower at HK$14.20. The dotcoms listed on GEM also had a tough day. Sources said some brokerages were downgrading their forecasts for the market. Celestial Asia Securities research head Herbert Lau Chung-kwan said: 'I think some brokerage houses have downgraded Hong Kong on property and some even for the overall market.' BNP Prime Peregrine, for example, yesterday downgraded its property outlook from neutral to underweight, citing poor take-up rates, a glut of residential supply coming on to the market and the expected increase in interest rates. Sun Hung Kai Properties fell 3.08 per cent to $55 and conglomerate Cheung Kong finished the day 2.63 per cent lower at $83.25. Only three blue chips closed higher, with Cathay Pacific jumping 5.49 per cent to $14.40. Mr Lau said: 'Cathay was continued buying from last week's story on its fleet expansion.'