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Hong Kong's key stock index slides 1.7 percent after death of Pakistan's Bhutto

Hong Kong's key stock index slides 1.7 percent after death of Pakistan's Bhutto

Hong Kong shares sank Friday, mirroring falls across the region after the assassination of Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto and on continued concern about the U.S. economy.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index slid 472.33 points, or 1.7 percent, to 27,370.6 points.
"I would suggest investors to avoid buying any stocks now amid the uncertain market outlook," said Castor Pang, a strategist at Sun Hung Kai Financial.
Bhutto was killed in a suicide attack after addressing a campaign rally Thursday, just days before Jan. 8 elections. The news rattled global markets amid concerns that her death will lead to instability in Pakistan and surrounding areas. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had been up four straight days, fell 1.4 percent to 13,359.61.
Most Asian stock markets also fell Friday, but analysts said the fallout in the region as a whole should be limited.
In Hong Kong, heavyweight China Mobile dropped 2.6 percent to HK$135.00 on concerns it may soon face a more competitive environment following a potential restructuring of China's telecom sector.
"In light of more frequent regulatory news flow recently, we do believe potential regulatory changes are more likely to take place in 2008," Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a research note.
China Netcom fell 4 percent to HK$23.10.
Local lender Bank of East Asia rose 2.7 percent to HK$52.90 after it sold a 4.95 percent stake to Spain's Criteria CaixaCorp SA for HK$3.95 billion. It will use the proceeds for branch expansion in China, the bank said.
Another mid-sized bank, ICBC (Asia), rose 4.2 percent to HK$20.65 on news its parent plans to buy a further 8.23 percent stake in the bank for HK$1.92 billion.
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China's stake in the Hong Kong-based bank will rise to 71.2 percent from the current 62.98 percent after the acquisition.
Hong Kong's market wraps up the year's trading on Monday and will be closed Tuesday for New Year's Day.


Updated : 2021-06-13 02:05 GMT+08:00