Asian markets suffered a fresh sell-off yesterday as weak corporate earnings renewed worries about a potential global recession. The Hang Seng Index fell 774.57 points or 5.15 per cent to 14,266.6, its lowest close since October 2005, bringing its loss to 3,749.61 points or 20.81 per cent this month. The H-share index dropped 7.79 per cent to close at 6,700.87 points. Japan's stock market fell 6.79 per cent, Singapore's slipped 5.19 per cent and South Korea's declined 5.14 per cent. 'The Hong Kong equity market was battered by redemptions by institutional investors, and I continue to see more sellers trying to raise cash than buyers in the market,' said Patrick Yiu Ho-yin, an associate director at CASH Asset Management. More than 60 per cent of fund managers surveyed by Merrill Lynch recently expected a global recession and as a response were increasing cash holdings. 'The latest batch of economic data from the mainland, Europe and US portrayed a deepening recession, prompting investors to cash out,' said Francis Lun Sheung-nim, a general manager at Fulbright Securities. 'If China really grows slowly, those companies that relied on the mainland would get hit hard.' The mainland economy grew 9 per cent in the third quarter, the slowest growth since 2003. Huaneng Power International, a key mainland electricity producer, reported a third-quarter loss of 2.16 billion yuan (HK$2.45 billion) on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's interbank rates eased further yesterday after the Hong Kong Monetary Authority pumped more liquidity into the system. The one-month rate sank to 2.9 per cent. Andrew Fung Hau-chung, a general manager at Hang Seng Bank, said local interbank rates mainly tracked the US dollar rate, which had fallen after central banks worldwide made commitments to support lenders. There was also selling pressure on the US dollar as investors settled trading positions for Hong Kong dollars, pushing down local interbank rates.