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Hong Kong: Stocks rally wiped out by new protest fears

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The Hang Seng ended up 0.08 per cent, or 21.23 points, at 25,724.73.

[HONG KONG] Property firms suffered hefty losses in Hong Kong Friday as the arrest of leading pro-democracy figures wiped out an early rally in the Hang Seng Index, fuelled by fears of fresh violence in the city.

Among the worst affected, Swire Properties dived 3.56 per cent, Sino Land sank 1.75 per cent, Sun Hung Kai Properties tumbled 1.77 per cent and New World Development lost 1.81 per cent.

News of the arrests overshadowed a broad advance across other Asian markets that came after China said it would not retaliate against the latest US tariffs, which raised hopes for an easing of trade tensions between the economic giants.

The Hang Seng ended up 0.08 per cent, or 21.23 points, at 25,724.73.

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The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.16 per cent, or 4.68 points, to 2,886.24 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, slipped 0.74 per cent, or 11.83 points, to 1,579.25.

Police on Friday held Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow a day before another planned mass rally on the fifth anniversary of Beijing's rejection of a call for universal suffrage in the city, which sparked the Umbrella Movement in 2014.

Hours earlier, another vocal independence campaigner was detained at Hong Kong's airport.

REUTERS