HONG KONG -- Stocks in Asia mostly fell on concern that higher interest rates will cap earnings growth, threatening high-flying technology and telecom stocks. Markets in Japan were closed again today and re-open Monday after a series of national holidays, but the prospect of higher rates in the U.S. dampened trading in most of the rest of the region.

Hong Kong's benchmark

Hang Seng

index fell 263.40 points, or 1.69%, to 15,314.07, dragged down for a second day by fears that technology stocks may be overvalued and amid growing concern that higher interest rates could further damage the prospects of real estate companies in the city.


Hutchison Whampoa


fell HK$3.00, or 2.7%, to 106.5, its second successive drop after

Standard & Poor's

put the company's credit rating on review.

Hutchison's parent

Cheung Kong


fell 4.50, or 4.9%, to 87.50. In addition to owning a 50% stake in Hutchison, the company is one of Hong Kong's biggest real estate developers. Stocks in such companies often fall when fears of higher interest rates increase. Developer

Sun Hung Kai Properties


fell 3.3% to 58.50.

Mainland mobile phone-network operator

China Telecom

(CHL) - Get Report

fell 2.75, or 4.6%, to 57.25, and Internet investor

Pacific Century CyberWorks

fell 0.75, or 4.8%, to 14.85. PCCW is attempting to take over

Cable & Wireless HKT


, which reported earnings after the market closed. The company, which fell 0.70, or 3.7%, to 17.90, said it made 90% less last year than the year before after a big equipment write-off in the first half. HKT is now trading at 18.8 times trailing earnings.



index was little changed, but the largest foundry chipmaker on the island,

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

(TSM) - Get Report

, fell NT$1.00, or 0.53%, to 187.00.

In Australian trading, the

All Ordinaries

index fell 50.80 points, or 1.7%, to 3025.90. Phone company



fell A$0.09, or 1.2%, to 6.98.


(NWS) - Get Report

tumbled 1.20, or 5.5%, to 20.70, and mining giant

Broken Hill Proprietary

(BHP) - Get Report

fell 0.66, or 3.6%, to 17.63.

In Singapore, the

Straits Times

index fell 29.25 points, or 1.36%, to 2115.98. Banking group



fell S$0.80, or 3.4%, to 22.90, while its rival


fell 0.30, or 2.6%, to 11.30.

After weeks of steep falls, Indian technology stock


(INFY) - Get Report

bucked the regional trend, gaining 270 rupees, or 3.5%, to 7970.00.

Satyam Computer

(SIFY) - Get Report

rose 180 rupees, or 6.9%, to 2790.00.