The government decision late last Friday to resume land sales after a nine-month moratorium helped property stocks gain just over 0.5 per cent, led by Cheung Kong and Henderson Land. Bank shares were subdued by worries about rising bad debt levels.
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THE HANG SENG index closed 23.03 lower at 9,402.39 after a half- day session ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Market sentiment reversed after last Friday's leap, which followed the decision by the Bank of Japan to cut interest rates.