Around the World's Markets: Hong Kong

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STOCKS finished lower yesterday, with most investors on the sidelines ahead of the new year holiday. The Hang Seng Index slipped 0.7 per cent, to close at 10,048.58. Over the year the index has fallen 6.3 per cent.

Analysts are expecting Hong Kong stocks to drift lower in the first and second quarters of next year, because of weak economic fundamentals and poor corporate earnings.