Around the World's Markets: Hong Kong

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SHARES closed sharply lower following a volatile session dominated by futures-related selling. The Hang Seng index - which fluctuated by as much as 600 points over the trading day - ended off 231.40 points, or 1.73 per cent, at 13,133.39.

Futures-related trading ahead of today's expiration of the April index helped drag the Nikkei down, according to traders. The negative sentiment was fuelled by rumours that some brokerages had cut their weighting of Hong Kong stocks.