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Profit-taking pulls down H.K. share prices.

HONG KONG, Dec. 29 Kyodo Hong Kong share prices closed lower Wednesday following profit-taking in the market and selling of technology shares.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index finished at 16,660.82 points, down 267.47 points, or 1.58%. Turnover was valued at 15.46 billion H.K. dollars (about 1.99 billion U.S. dollars).

Wednesday's trading saw the index at one point breach the 17,000 mark, reaching 17,138.11 points.

But share prices fell as investors cashed in profits with technology-related stocks losing.

On Tuesday, following the strong momentum of technology and Internet-related stocks, the Hang Seng Index rose to a new high, ending at 16,928.29 points.

Alex Wong, research manager at OSK Asia Securities Ltd., said Wednesday's fall reflected over-buying in the market and profit-taking after a big accumulative increase in share prices over the past few months.

Profit-taking was further aggravated by the decline in prices of technology stocks, especially Pacific Century CyberWorks, which had been one of the most active over the past few days, Wong said.

The fall in high-tech stock prices also pulled down blue chips as investor confidence wavered, said Peter Lai, a director at OCBC Securities (Hong Kong) Ltd.

But Lai said the decline was a normal correction.

As Thursday will be the Hong Kong bourse's last trading day for this year, analysts said share prices could end on the low side.

The overnight performance on Wall Street, which is expected to turn downward following sharp rises over the past few days, may also have an impact on Hong Kong stocks, analysts said.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Date:Jan 3, 2000
Words:267
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