Shanghai shares trim gains after weak China data, banks firm

HONG KONG, March 13 Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:04am EDT

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HONG KONG, March 13 (Reuters) - Shanghai shares rose on Thursday, though disappointing China data in the afternoon pulled stocks off highs reached on reports about an anticipated preferred shares pilot programme in the mainland.

China's industrial output growth came in below forecasts for the combined January/February period, with retail sales also weaker than expected, continuing a run of sluggish data from the world's second-largest economy.

The Shanghai Composite Index ended up 1.1 percent at 2019.1 points. The CSI300 of the largest Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings rose 1.2 percent.

Three sources with knowledge of the plans told Reuters that the China Securities Regulatory Commission is ready to launch an waited pilot programme letting listed companies issue preferred shares, and could announce it as policy as soon as this weekend.

Thursday's gains were led by banks that could be the first ones joining the programme.

(Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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