Hong Kong: Shares drop as energy counters sag

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong shares ended fractionally lower on Monday led by a tumble in energy heavyweights as investors worried about persistent weakness in oil prices.

The mood was also cautious ahead of a likely US rate hike at the Federal Reserve's policy meeting next week, which would be the first increase in nearly a decade.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.2 per cent, to 22,203.22, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.4 per cent, to 9,798.19 points.

All main sectors were up, expect for energy shares, which tumbled amid concerns that oil prices - already at almost seven-year lows - would decline further.

Oil giants CNOOC, PetroChina and Sinopec all fell sharply.

Hong Kong-traded shares of CITIC Securities also sagged, after China's top brokerage said on Sunday that it was not able to contact two of its top executives.

CITIC's statement, which followed media reports that the executives had been asked by authorities to assist in an investigation, deepened fears of a widening probe into the country's brokerage industry.


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