Shanghai shares end below 2,000-mark as liquidity jitters deepen

HONG KONG Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:06am EST

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HONG KONG Jan 20 (Reuters) - The Shanghai Composite Index closed below the 2,000-point mark for the first time in 5-1/2 months on Monday as soaring short-term funding costs deepened uneasiness that new listings will inject more competition for already limited cash.

The Shanghai benchmark ended down 0.7 percent at 1,991.3 points, the first time it has closed below the 2,000 level since July 31. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings shed 0.6 percent.

Eight companies said they expect to make their listing debuts in Shenzhen on Tuesday, with five on the ChiNext board. The ChiNext Composite Index of mainly startups in nascent industries sank 1.4 percent.

China's benchmark seven-day repo rate soared by as much as 125 basis points to 6.42 percent on Monday, stoking fears of a repeat of the end-June cash crunch. Demand typically rises near month-end, which in January coincides with the Lunar New Year.

Data showed China's economy grew 7.7 percent in 2013 after easing in the final three months on sagging investment growth, a cooling that some analysts say is a sign of more sober times ahead as the government wrestles to implement major reforms. (Reporting by Clement Tan; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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