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Hong Kong stocks end 0.38% lower

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Hong Kong shares ended 0.38 percent lower Friday as early gains were wiped out by profit-taking and concerns over China's economic recovery.

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index lost 86.07 points to 22,533.11 on turnover of HK$102.78 billion ($13.25 billion).

Traders chose to ignore an eighth straight record close for the Dow on Wall Street fuelled by upbeat US jobs data, and despite Beijing finalising its leadership transition with the naming of Li Keqiang as the new premier.

That came a after Xi Jinping became the new president of the world's second largest economy.

Data last weekend showing inflation picking up in China followed a string of unimpressive results in recent months that have dampened recent optimism for the economy, which had shown signs of a resurgence at the tailend of 2012.

In Hong Kong mainland property firms were hit by concerns over more government tightening measures aimed at capping housing prices, while Hong Kong plays were lower after some local banks hiked their mortgage rates.

China Resources Land fell 5.4 percent to HK$19.40, while Wharf lost 3.9 percent to HK$62.45.

Sun Hung Kai Properties, the territory's largest developer by market value, lost 1.6 percent to HK$106.20 -- finishing the week down 7.6 percent. Sino Land fell 0.8 percent to HK$13.18, and was 6.8 percent off this week.

Ping An insurance dipped 1.0 percent to HK$61.30 despite posting a 3 percent rise in 2012 net profit.

But Chinese shares closed up 0.36 percent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 8.12 points to 2,278.40 on turnover of 101.6 billion yuan ($16.3 billion). The index fell 1.73 percent this week.

"The rise was mainly helped by bargain hunting and the market needs more positive signals, such as improvement in economic statistics and more pro-growth policies from the new leadership," Haitong Securities analyst Zhang Qi told AFP.

Banks and brokerages rose on cheap valuations, with China Citic Bank up 2.46 percent at 4.58 yuan while China Construction Bank rose 1.96 percent to 4.69 yuan. Huatai Securities gained 2.04 percent to 10.51 yuan.

Property stocks fell after China's housing minister told state media Thursday that home prices will fall this year and the government will strictly implement measures to keep prices in check.

Poly Real Estate dropped 4.05 percent to 10.65 yuan, while Gemdale slid 0.66 percent to 6.00 yuan.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130315/hong-kong-stocks-end-038-lower-0