Hong Kong stocks fell on Monday as worries over the worsening third wave of Covid-19 outbreak in the city overwhelmed earlier enthusiasm about technology stocks. Gold-mining companies had a field day as price set a new all-time high. The Hang Seng Index declined 0.4 per cent to close at 24,603.26, giving up gains of as much as 1.1 per cent advance in the opening hour. The Hang Seng Tech Index, a new gauge tracking 30 largest new economy and other technology companies, declined 1.3 per cent on its debut. Market turnover fell to HK$126 billion (US$16 billion) from HK$168 billion on Friday. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.3 per cent to 3,205.23, while the CSI 300 of large caps in Shanghai and Shenzhen gained 0.5 per cent to 4,528.45. Turnover on both exchanges was 927 billion yuan (US$132 billion), snapping a 17-session streak of breaking the 1 trillion yuan level. Optimism that sent technology stocks such as Tencent Holdings flying in early trading quickly dissipated when concerns over the development of new coronavirus cases dominated, a turn of events that prompted the Hong Kong government to tighten containment measures. “The market was earlier hopeful that new money would flow in to buy technology stocks. But it has since gone back to focusing on the fundamental side of things, which are the coronavirus and the US-China tensions,” said Kevin Leung, executive director of investment strategy at Haitong International Securities in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has banned dining at restaurants, tightening the social distancing measures as the city recorded its 19th death related to the Covid-19 disease on Monday. As many as 128 cases of infection were reported on Sunday, the fifth straight day of triple-digit infections. In Hong Kong, property stocks led the decline. Home builder and shopping centre owner New World Development slid 2.8 per cent to HK$36.20. Sun Hung Kai Properties, the city’s largest developer by market value, shed 0.9 per cent to HK$91.65. HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, fell 1.8 per cent to HK$35.35, after publishing a statement on Chinese social media on Saturday to defend its role in the United States’ inquiry of Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies. HSBC takes to WeChat social network to deny ‘framing’ Huawei in US investigations Smoore International, a Shenzhen-based maker of e-cigarette, bucked the downward market. The stock surged 12.5 per cent to HK$42.20, extending a rally since it went public on July 9. The stock has risen 240 per cent from its listing price of HK$12.40. Sentiment turned sour quickly on technology stocks as investors weighed the impact of Covid-19 cases and escalating political tensions between Beijing and Washington. Index heavyweight Tencent Holdings, China’s online gaming and social media giant, declined 1.5 per cent to HK$520. Food delivery group Meituan Dianping fell 3 per cent to HK$185. Smartphone acoustic component maker AAC Technologies traded 1.2 per cent lower at HK$56.75. They are among the biggest components in the Hang Seng Tech Index. Fund managers expect ETFs tracking Hang Seng Tech Index to take off as investors seek a piece of the red hot industry Gold miners surged after the price of the yellow metal jumped 2 per cent to US$1,940.1 per ounce, setting a fresh intraday all-time high record. Rising geopolitical tensions between the world’s two largest economies pushed investors into the safe haven commodity, while a weakening US dollar also boosted the rally. US billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio warned tensions between China and the US could escalate into a “capital war”. The founder of Bridgewater Associates sees a possibility in the US government banning investment in China, according to an interview aired on Fox News. Shandong Gold Group, a state-owned gold miner based in eastern China, jumped 12.4 per cent to HK$24.90. Zijin Mining Group, based in the southeastern city of Xiamen, rose 6.8 per cent to HK$5. Investors are also waiting for signals on the direction of global monetary policies from a scheduled US Federal Reserve meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. The market expects no major shift in strategy from the meeting, after Fed officials promised to keep interest rates at “near-zero” level until the economy has withstood the test of the Covid-19 pandemic.