Hong Kong stocks reversed course yesterday after two sessions of strong gains, with across-the-board losses among leading blue chips weighing on the benchmark. The Hang Seng Index shed 2.9 per cent, or 515.41 points, to 17,211.84 on robust turnover of HK$15.52 billion. Dampening sentiment were losses in Cable & Wireless HKT and Pacific Century CyberWorks. The two will merge on August 17 and HKT was trading on its own for the last day. Shares in HKT dropped 11.64 per cent to $16.70, with CyberWorks' off 7.9 per cent at $16.30. Other leading index constituents - particularly HSBC and China Mobile - also gave up the last two session's gains, which had taken the index to a close of 17,727.25 points on Monday. Financial and property counters had underpinned the Monday surge after United States data last Friday again indicated the US Federal Reserve was unlikely to raise interest rates at its next meeting on August 22. Despite yesterday's turnaround, analysts believe the negativity will be short-lived as the underlying sentiment towards Hong Kong is still positive. They said profit-taking after the strong run brought down the two heavyweights yesterday, with China Mobile falling 5.24 per cent to $63.25 and HSBC slipping 1.38 per cent to $106.50. The telecommunications group on Monday also denied it was planning a US$500 million convertible bond issue to finance its acquisition of seven mobile networks from its parent. 'China Mobile has been flat for about the last three trading sessions,' Nomura Securities head of Greater China sales trading Alan Chen said. 'I would say there was profit taking. Remember that Hong Kong has been the most robust [market] in the region,' he said. In the broader market, property investors - the SAR's landlords - bucked the market trend by making steady gains. 'There has been good news around office rentals,' one dealer said. 'We know for a fact that they've (rental prices) been on the up for a while.' Shares in Hang Lung Development rose 5.42 per cent to $6.80, with Amoy Properties up 4.05 per cent to $7.70 and Hysan Development gaining 2.46 per cent to $10.40.