Hong Kong and China stocks fell sharply as the dust settled on the 18th Communist Party congress in Beijing revealing a new generation of Chinese leaders and worries over a slowdown in the US economy spiralled up. “I believe the conclusion of this contest [the congress] will remove the political uncertainty that has been holding back the markets, and we will also see a pick-up in the implementation of the Five-Year Plan,” said Martha Wang, Portfolio Manager, Fidelity China Focus Fund. “Furthermore, I think the new leadership will be willing to accept lower GDP growth as it will focus on quality rather than quantity of growth,” Wang said. The benchmark Hang Seng Index lost 333.06 points, or 1.55 per cent, to finish at 21,108.93. That is the lowest level in a month. Shanghai stocks fell to close at a seven-week low, shedding 1.22 per cent to stand at 2030.29. The Chinese currency retreated from its Wednesday record to fix at 6.2252 per US dollar. The HSI has gone up more than 3,000 points since September when the US announced another round of quantitative easing. “A consolidation after such a sharp gain is reasonable,” said Ben Kwong, chief operating officer at KGI Asia. “Today is another typical case for investors to look for excuses to lock in profit.” At the just-finished 18th CPC, Xi Jinping was appointed head of the Communist Party and China’s top military body, setting him up to replace current President Hu Jintao and run China for the next decade along Li Keqiang, who will replace Wen Jiabao as the nation’s new premier. The congress also elected the new Standing Committee of the Politburo, the innermost ring of China’s decision-making body. The number of committee members was reduced from nine to seven, inline with expectations. “New leaders are more likely pro-business and pro-stability,” said Shen Minggao Head of China Country Research at Citigroup. All of the sever-member standing committee hold college degrees and six of them worked in the countryside in the latter part of the Cultural Revolution. The market was worried about the new leadership’s bigger tolerance toward slower economic growth. “The new leaders may aim for balances between quantity and quality, and between equity and efficiency,” Shen said. Insurers, which have heavy investments in the onshore market, fell sharply as A shares touches fresh bottom. China Life lost 1.98 per cent to finish at HK$22.25. Esprit Holdings ( 0330.HK ) surged by 22 per cent to finish at HK$12.96, after its ex-chairman increased his stake in the apparel producer to 10.33 per cent from 5.99 per cent. Tencent ( 0700.HK ) lost 6.95 per cent to finish at HK$249.20, after its third-quarter profit missed estimates. The company said net income rose to 3.22 billion yuan in the third quarter from 2.45 billion yuan a year earlier.