Hong Kong: Shares end lower on oil price concerns

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong shares weakened on Thursday, pulled lower by resource shares, as investors remained wary of falling commodity prices and ahead of a likely US interest rate rise next week.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.5 per cent, to 21,704.61, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.1 per cent, to 9,450.49 points.

The indexes were weighed by continued weakness in energy and resource shares as global commodity prices fell. "The biggest risk comes from slumping oil prices. Investors don't see a bottom now," said Alex Wong, Hong Kong-based director of Ample Finance Group.

He said the oil price tumble had triggered concerns over the health of drilling companies, as well as the corporate bond market, potentially destabilising global equity markets. "The sentiment is very bad now. I cannot rule out the possibility of the Hang Seng heading south quickly toward the year-end." In addition, many investors are standing on the sidelines ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting next week, which is expected to produce the first rate hike in nearly a decade.


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