Around the World's Markets: Hong Kong

STOCKS HAD a volatile day's trading, ending modestly lower after earlier hitting their highest level in 18 months. The Hang Seng index peaked in morning trade at 13,364.42 - its highest level since October 1997 - before falling back to close down 28.24 points at 12,905.30.

HSBC Holdings was among the most actively-trade stocks, setting a new record high of HK$290 before falling back to close at $283.