Tension brings counters down

AS tension mounted between the United States and China over human rights abuses on the mainland, the Hang Seng index shed more points.

With the renewal of China's Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status thrown in doubt after the recent detention of Chinese dissidents, investors seized on the issue to dump their shares.

Hotel stocks could not decide which way to go, posting a lacklustre performance to see some counters falling with the index and others edging up while one counter remained inert.

CDL Hotels lost 3.12 per cent to $3.10 while Furama Hotel tumbled 5.12 per cent to $14.60.

Associated Hotels remained inert at $8.10.

Miramar Hotel, which has been the target of rumours since the end of last year that the property will be knocked down and redeveloped, nudged down 0.42 per cent to $24.20.

Last week, speculation that the hotel would be redeveloped resurfaced when it was learnt that the hotel had terminated its contract rates with several major travel agencies.

Mandarin Oriental shed 0.91 per cent to $11.

Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, which is scheduled to complete its 30-storey extension to the Peninsula at a cost of $1.1 billion this spring, rose 0.82 per cent to $12.30.