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Around the World's Markets: Hong Kong

STOCKS CLOSED sharply lower as investors took profits and closed out positions ahead of a US holiday weekend. The Hang Seng ended down 308.51 points at 14,998.77.

Traders said a correction had been expected. Even after the fall, the index is up 13 per cent this month. Dealers say the rise will resume; underlying strength is shown by heavyweight China Telecom (HK), which closed up 1 per cent, taking its gains in November to 42.5 per cent.