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Hong Kong stocks end 0.59% lower

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Hong Kong shares sank 0.59 percent Monday following heavy losses on Wall Street, despite a healthy US jobs report.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index lost 132.93 points to end at 22,377.15 on turnover of HK$57.61 billion (US$7.43 billion) compared with HK$62.04 billion traded Friday.

On Friday the US Labor Department said the American economy added 192,000 jobs in March -- just below forecasts of 195,000 -- while the unemployment rate held steady at 6.7 percent.

While the figure was an improvement on the past three months when the US was hit by a severe winter, the growth rate is unlikely to alter the pace of the Federal Reserve's stimulus tapering programme.

Hong Kong-listed technology stocks slid, taking their lead from a heavy 2.6 percent sell-off Friday on the tech-rich Nasdaq in New York, as investors worldwide question rapidly rising valuations.

Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings tumbled 4.5 percent, placing it within striking distance of negative territory for the year and down 21 percent from a high on March 6.

"These stocks lost touch with what we would call reasonable valuations some time ago," said Erwin Sanft, head of Chinese equity strategy for Standard Chartered in Hong Kong.

Macau gaming stocks also fell Monday, with hotel and casino operator Sands China falling 4.9 percent to HK$60.25 a share and Galaxy Entertainment Group losing 5.6 percent to HK$67.95.

"The overall direction has been to continue to take profit on internet and gaming companies as well as pharmaceuticals," said Eric Yuen, head of research at GuocoCapital.

In China, the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets were closed for a public holiday.

-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this report --

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140407/hong-kong-stocks-end-059-lower