Hong Kong stocks fell sharply on Monday following steep losses on Wall Street last Friday, with investors worried that the US Federal Reserve may cut its bond-buying program further and reduce the flow of cheap money in the markets.
A selloff in emerging market assets and currencies added to the nervous mood among traders.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index (HSI) slid over 500 points in the morning session, before ending the day at 21,976, a loss of 473 points or 2.11 percent The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, the main gauge for H shares, slumped 2.21 percent to 9,792 points, the lowest since last August.
In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite index closed 1.03 percent lower at 2,033 points, also marking the weakest level since August 2013.
Only Galaxy Entertainment (00027.HK) and Sands China (01928.HK) posted gains among the 50 HSI constituents during Monday trading session. Belle International Holdings (01880.HK) and Lenovo Group (00992.HK) both gave up more than 5 percent, making them the worst performing blue chips of the day.
Banks and insurers came under heavy selling pressure. HSBC (00005.HK) shed 2.7 percent and Standard Chartered (02888.HK) lost 3.4 percent. AIA Group (01299.HK) dropped 1.4 percent and Manulife (00945.HK) declined 3.2 percent.
Investors dumped mainland lenders as well. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (01398.HK), Bank of China (03988.HK), China Construction Bank (00939.HK) and Bank of Communications (03328.HK) all ended around 1.8 percent lower, while Agricultural Bank of China (01288.HK) fared even worse with a loss of more than 2 percent.
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