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
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.
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.
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
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.
, fell NT$1.00, or 0.53%, to 187.00.
In Australian trading, the
index fell 50.80 points, or 1.7%, to 3025.90. Phone company
fell A$0.09, or 1.2%, to 6.98.
tumbled 1.20, or 5.5%, to 20.70, and mining giant
Broken Hill Proprietary
fell 0.66, or 3.6%, to 17.63.
In Singapore, the
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
bucked the regional trend, gaining 270 rupees, or 3.5%, to 7970.00.
rose 180 rupees, or 6.9%, to 2790.00.