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China shares fall to lowest close this month, tightening jitters linger

Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 | 3:08 AM ET

HONG KONG, Oct 24 (Reuters) - China shares finished at their lowest since late September on Thursday, led by financials on tightening fears as short-term money rates again spiked.

State news agency Xinhua reported that Beijing authorities would bar property developers from selling homes if they do not accept the government's "guidance" on prices, suggesting officials would directly intervene to hold down prices.

The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings finished down 0.7 percent at 2,400.5 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.9 percent. Both ended at their lowest closing level since Sept. 27.

China's benchmark seven-day repo rate opened up a full percentage point at 5 percent on Thursday, marking its highest since July after the People's Bank of China refrained from injecting funds at a third-straight session.

This resulted in previously-issued maturing instruments draining 58 billion yuan this week from the country's interbank market, compared to 44.5 billion yuan last week.

A stronger-than-expected Markit/HSBC flash Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) reading helped briefly trim losses. Stocks losses on the day were not accompanied by unusual spikes in turnover.

The earliest reading of China's monthly economic performance was 50.9 in October, above September's final reading of 50.2 and marking a seven-month high.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission might simultaneously launch a preferred shares program and restart approvals for new A-share initial public listings, Reuters Chinese Service reported on Thursday, citing two sources with knowledge of the matter.

(Reporting by Clement Tan; Editing by XXX)