Shanghai shares at near 8-week closing low, property limits losses

HONG KONG, March 12 Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:06am EDT

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HONG KONG, March 12 (Reuters) - Shanghai shares closed at their lowest in nearly eight weeks on Wednesday, as weakness in retailers offset strength for property counters which stemmed from hopes China would not put additional curbs on that sector.

The Shanghai Composite Index ended down 0.2 percent at 1,997.7 points, the lowest closing since Jan. 20. The CSI300 of the largest Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings inched up 0.3 percent.

More China macroeconomic data is due on Thursday and could add to slowdown fears after a disappointing series of February data during recent days. While this has sparked some talk of monetary easing, physical commodities markets have taken a beating.

Reuters reported exclusively on Wednesday that a reserve requirement cut for banks would be triggered if China's annual growth slips below 7.5 percent and towards 7.0 percent, citing sources involved in internal policy discussions. (Reporting by Clement Tan; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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