China shares end lower as property stocks hit by central bank comments

SHANGHAI Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:19am EDT

Investors play cards in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Hefei, Anhui province January 4, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

Investors play cards in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Hefei, Anhui province January 4, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China shares ended 0.2 percent lower on Monday, led by property developers, after the head of the Chinese central bank said that the government was not using bank reserve requirement ratio (RRR) cuts to help the stock market and the property sector.

Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, told a news conference in Beijing that the central bank will use RRR cuts to help shape monetary policy this year, but he was quick to add that the RRR cuts will not be aimed at boosting the stock market or the property sector.

Investors had expected improved liquidity conditions from the bank reserve cuts to help the property sector hurt by government curbs to rein in excessively high prices since April 2010.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC closed at 2,434.9 points, extending a 0.9 percent over the week last week.

Shanghai's property sub-index .SSEP closed down 1.9 percent. Shenzhen-listed China Vanke 000002.SZ, the mainland's largest developer by sales and scheduled to post its earnings report for 2011 later on Monday, shed 2.9 percent.

($1 = 6.31 yuan)

(Reporting by Lu Jianxin and Jacqueline Wong)

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