China shares hit 7-week low, Shanghai has worst week since June

Friday, 25 Oct 2013 | 3:08 AM ET

HONG KONG, Oct 25 (Reuters) - China shares sank to their lowest in seven weeks on Friday, with investors mainly driven by wanting to exit this year's outperformers though jitters about tighter money conditions lingered.

The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings ended the day down 1.3 percent at 2,368.6 points, its lowest close since Sept. 6. It fell 2.4 percent for the week.

The Shanghai Composite Index slid 1.5 percent on Friday and 2.8 percent this week - its biggest weekly loss since late June, when China's central bank sparked a market panic by engineering a cash crunch.

Fears about a possible cash crunch returned this week as China's seven-day repurchase rate - a benchmark for short-term funds - jumped by 150 basis points to around 5 percent.

The People's Bank of China stayed out of scheduled money markets operations on Thursday for a third consecutive session and has drained more than 157 billion yuan ($25.81 billion) since the week ended Oct. 4.

While gains in the Chinese banking sector limited index losses this week, investors rotated out of the year's outperformers, particularly ones seen linked to the Shanghai free trade zone.

The Nasdaq-style ChiNext of mainly high growth, technology penny stocks listed in Shenzhen was a notable underperformer, diving 4.8 percent this week in its biggest weekly loss in nearly a year.

($1 = 6.0820 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Clement Tan; Editing by Richard Borsuk)