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Hong Kong: Shares fall after anti-speculation moves batter China indexes

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[HONG KONG] Hong Kong shares had their worst day in nearly five weeks as plunges on mainland markets hit investment appetites in the city.

Mainland indexes suffered their biggest one-day percentage drop in more than six and a half years, dragged down by record tumbles in financial stocks as regulators cracked down on margin trading, which has been blamed for fuelling a wave of speculation over the past three months.

Analysts said Hong Kong investors were already in a selling mood, due to concerns about Europe, and the mainland tumble gave another reason for indexes to correct.

The Hang Seng index fell 1.5 per cent, to 23,738.49 points, while China Enterprises Index lost 5.0 per cent, to 11,475.85 points, posting its biggest daily drop in more than three years.

Among the most actively traded stocks on Hong Kong's main board were Bank of China, down 5.9 per cent at HK$4.18, CCT Land Holdings Ltd, unchanged at HK$0.02 and China Construction Bank, down 3.8 per cent at HK$6.14.

Chinese investment flowing from Shanghai into Hong Kong through the mutual market access pilot programme took up 0.82 billion yuan (US$131.87 million) of the 10.5 billion yuan daily quota.

Total trading volume of companies included in the HSI index was 3.0 billion shares.

REUTERS