Around the World's Markets: HONG KONG

BLUE CHIPS fell sharply in a reaction to a surge earlier in the week. The Hang Seng came off 4.22 per cent to close at 12,997.43, down 572.81 points.

The market fell as traders sold off heavyweight stocks such as HSBC Holdings, Hongkong Telecom and Hutchison Whampoa. HSBC Holdings tumbled 4.25 per cent to close at HK$270.00 on heavy turnover.

Traders said they were using the opportunity to take profits because the Hang Seng index had been overbought for some time.