Factory survey drags China H-shares to biggest loss in 3 weeks

HONG KONG Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:04am EST

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HONG KONG Jan 23 (Reuters) - Chinese shares listed in Hong Kong posted their biggest loss in three weeks on Thursday, dented by a private preliminary survey that showed factory activity shrank in the world's second-largest economy in January.

The Hang Seng Index fell 1.5 percent to 22,733.9 points, its lowest close since Jan. 7. The China Enterprises Index of the leading offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong sank 2.1 percent, its biggest daily loss since Jan. 3.

The flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 49.6 in January from December's final reading of 50.5, dropping below the 50 line which separates expansion of activity from contraction for the first time in six months.

Money rates in the mainland crept higher on Thursday despite a second cash injection for the week by the People's Bank of China. In the biggest weekly net injection since February 2013, it put in a total of 375 billion yuan ($61.97 billion).

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