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Thursday, September 14, 2017, 15:34
Shanghai shares ease from 20-mth high after China's soft activity, spending data
By Reuters
Thursday, September 14, 2017, 15:34 By Reuters

SHANGHAI - Shanghai stocks fell on Thursday, snapping a brief foray into 20-month highs, after data showed the world's second-largest economy may be starting to lose some steam as lending costs rise.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.3 percent, to 3,829.96 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4 percent to 3,371.43 points.

Fixed-asset investment, a key growth driver for the nation's economy, rose 7.8 percent in the first eight months of the year, the weakest pace since December 1999 and cooling from 8.3 percent in January-July.

Factory output also disappointed, rising 6.0 percent in August from a year earlier, the slowest in nine months, statistics bureau data showed.

Most sectors lost ground, with resources and banking firms leading the decline.

But developers far outperformed the broader market with a 4 percent jump, advancing to a fresh 20-month high, after data showed real estate investment growth picked up pace again in August.

Shares in top developer China Vanke surged 7 percent to 28.1 yuan (US$4.29), within sight of their record high hit in mid-November.

A resilient property market will be good news for China's policymakers, who want to keep the real estate market stable ahead of a once-in-five-year Communist Party congress in October. Real estate investment, which directly affects 40 other business sectors in China, is considered a crucial driver for the economy.

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