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Hong Kong share index posts worst weekly loss in six months


Irish shares fell yesterday

Irish shares fell yesterday

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Irish shares fell yesterday

Hong Kong's benchmark share index closed at a two-month low after posting its biggest weekly loss since March, with investors retreating as the U.S. dollar gained strength.

Investors also took profits following a rally that had been fuelled by speculative buying before the opening of a cross-border trading link between exchanges in Hong Kong and China.

The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.4 percent at 23,678.41 points. It lost 2.6 percent this week, the worst week since mid-March.

The China Enterprises Index of the leading offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.5 percent on Friday and 1.8 percent on the week. Both suffered their third straight weekly loss.

Consumer staple stocks were the standout underperformers. Shoe retailer Belle International Holdings sank 3.2 percent to a two-month low, hurt by slowing China sales, while snack-maker Want Want China Holdings shed 2.0 percent, surrendering most of Thursday's gains.

Galaxy Entertainment Group spiked 3.6 percent and Sands China 2.8 percent, helping trim the decline on the Hang Seng. The beaten-down sector was lifted by hopes that a week-long holiday in China starting next Wednesday would lead to some pick-up in Macau gambling revenue growth.