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China shares close nearly flat after property data, earnings

BEIJING, April 18 (Reuters) - China shares closed nearly flat on Friday, with property stocks limiting the market's momentum after data showed Chinese home price rises had slowed further in March.

The Shanghai Composite Index ended down 0.05 percent at 2,097.75 points. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings closed flat.

On the week, the SSEC index closed down 1.4 percent.

Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities rose 7.7 percent in March from a year earlier, easing from the previous month's 8.7 percent rise, according to Reuters calculations based on official data.

China Fortune Land Co Ltd fell 3.5 percent and Ningbo Fuda Co Ltd dropped 2.4 percent.

Great Wall Motor Co Ltd slid 5.5 percent, becoming the day's biggest loser on both indexes, after the company posted a sharp slowdown in first-quarter earnings growth.

But ZTE Corp, China's second-biggest maker of telecommunications equipment, gained 0.8 percent after the company reported a tripling of net profit in the first quarter.

The Hong Kong stock exchange is closed on Friday and Monday for the Easter holiday.

(Reporting By Natalie Thomas; Editing by Chris Gallagher)