Hong Kong shares down

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Hong Kong - Hong Kong shares finished a holiday-shortened week at their lowest close since November 28, as fears of a bird flu outbreak sparked a broad selloff, and further falls looked possible after the benchmark index broke below a key technical support.

The Hang Seng Index ended down 2.7 percent at 21,726.9 on Friday.

The China Enterprises Index of the leading Chinese listings in Hong Kong shed 3.1 percent. It, too, ended at its lowest point since November 28.

During the shortened week, the indexes slid 2.6 and 4.3 percent, respectively.

Markets in mainland China stayed shut for a public holiday and will resume trading on Monday. The Shanghai Composite Index and the CSI300 of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings each fell 0.5 percent this week.

HIGHLIGHTS:

* Losses on Friday meant the China Enterprises Index closed below its 200-day moving average, now at about 10,508.9, for the first time since Nov. 15.

* Chinese airlines were among the biggest percentage losers on a day of fears about diminished demand for air travel. Air China slumped 9.8 percent, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines each dived more than 8 percent. Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways fell 4.1 percent to its lowest since September.

* Traders said the losses was exacerbated by an exit of funds from the territory following the Bank of Japan's unprecedented aggressive monetary easing announced on Thursday, a day Hong Kong markets were shut for a holiday. - Reuters


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