Analysts expect further losses for Hong Kong shares this week, with some bears saying the carnage will not stop until the Hang Seng Index hits the 12,000-point level. Those not selling will be waiting on the sidelines for key data from the United States, including wages figures on Friday. Last week, the index shed 5.21 per cent to end at 13,722.7 points, dipping below 14,000 for the first time since November last year, as further interest rate fears and a weak Wall Street affected confidence across Asia. 'Right now the sentiment for property counters is very weak and people will probably stay away until the Government brings in some measures to help the property market,' said Mansion House Securities research head Stanley Ng Wing-chark. When Tung Chee-hwa took office in 1997, commentators praised the Chief Executive for his plans to broaden home-ownership in Hong Kong, where outlandish price movements made the residential market a traditional hunting ground for speculators more than residents. Now it seems every week brings another analyst attacking what they say is a 'glut' of the Government's home-ownership scheme flats depressing the market. On Friday there was a reminder, however, of how well some other sectors have been doing. Gross domestic product figures showed the economy enjoyed its strongest growth in 13 years in the first quarter. The main driving force was external trade, with the export of goods soaring 20.7 per cent and services leaping 16.4 per cent. However, the pace of export growth is expected to slow later this year if the biggest buyers of those goods - the US - heads for a soft landing. At the same time, the slide in the stock market - the Growth Enterprise Index is down 50.68 per cent this year - would put a crimp in consumer spending. 'The GDP figures will not be a big boost,' said Daiwa Asset Management's Ambrose Chan. 'The market already has a perception that the positive real interest rates will dampen business activities and the negative wealth effect from the burst of tech bubble will cap the market's upside.' While analysts point to value at current levels, they expect few will brave the market with sentiment so low. Thus the sharp sell-off of red chips and H shares on Friday after the US House of Representatives approved permanent free trade status for the mainland. 'On a technical basis, the market is very oversold but it would appear there is little support between here and all the way down to the 12,000 points area,' said Asia Financial Securities research head James So. Nevertheless, a rally on Wall Street could quickly brush away all the negatives. 'In any case, you have to follow the Dow Jones [Industrial Average] and Nasdaq [Composite Index],' Mr Chan said. Turnover could be thin due to overseas holidays. US markets will be closed today for the Memorial Day holiday, while Britain's markets are shut for the Spring Bank Holiday. Much of continental Europe is on holiday on Thursday, Ascension Day.