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Hong Kong: Shares close at 6-week low on China slowdown worry


[HONG KONG] Hong Kong shares closed at their lowest in six weeks on Thursday, following mainland markets down, weighed by financial stocks amid concerns over China's economic slowdown.

China announced an economic growth target for 2015 of around 7 per cent on Thursday and said it would boost government spending, signalling that the lowest rate of expansion for a quarter of a century is the "new normal" for the world's No 2 economy.

Mainland banks listed in Hong Kong fell on concerns over profitability.

In separate reports published on Thursday, rating agency Moody's Investors Service said Chinese banks were suffering from a narrowing interest rate spread and weakening pricing power, while Standard & Poor's said China's small to mid-sized banks would struggle if property prices plunge.

The Hang Seng index fell 1.1 per cent, to 24,193.04, its lowest since end-January, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.2 per cent, to 11,597.77 points.

But some of the most actively traded stocks on Hong Kong's main board were higher. Junyang Solar rose 70.3 per cent to HK$0.31, Ali Pictures was up 10.7 per cent to HK$2.07 and Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd rose 14.1 per cent to HK$7.30.

Total trading volume of companies included in the HSI index was 1.9 billion shares.


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