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Hong Kong stocks at 2-month low on US rate hike prospects


[HONG KONG] Hong Kong shares slid to a two-month low on Friday, as sentiment was dampened by enhanced expectations the US Federal Reserve would raise interest rates by the year-end.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.8 per cent, to 22,954.81, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.0 per cent, to 9,515.32 points.

For the week, both HSI and HSCE lost 1.8 per cent.

Hong Kong shares followed Asian markets lower, amid concerns over money flowing out of emerging markets due to mounting expectations of a US rate hike by the year-end.

Adding to investors' worry was an unexpected sharp drop in China's September industrial profits, as some key manufacturing sectors stumbled on weak activity and rising debt, raising concerns China's recent economic recovery might be shaky.

Most stocks in the main sector lost ground, led by financials and property stocks.

China Life Insurance, the country's biggest insurer by market value, shed 2.6 per cent, after posting a 60 per cent tumble in nine-month net profit, dragging down other big-cap financials, offsetting the strength in Ping An Insurance.

One of the few bright spots was China's home grown sportswear group ANTA Sports, which jumped to a more than 9-month high after posting strong third quarter results.