China shares end down as energy firms, financials drag

HONG KONG Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:06am EDT

HONG KONG Aug 14 (Reuters) - China shares fell on Thursday, hurt by lingering weakness in financial and energy companies though outperforming car makers such as SAIC Motor helped limit losses.

The Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.7 percent at 2,206.47 points. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings sank 1 percent. Both swung between negative and positive territory during the session.

Among the biggest index drags in Shanghai, PetroChina shed 0.9 percent and China Life Insurance 2.1 percent.

Property developers also suffered losses. China Vanke slid 2 percent in Shenzhen, while Poly Real Estate lost 1.4 percent in Shanghai.

Data on Wednesday showed China's housing market weakened further in July, with real estate investment slowing and sales falling sharply despite efforts by many local governments to shore up the troubled sector.

The auto sector posted solid gains. SAIC Motor, the biggest index boost, climbed 4 percent to a two-week high after it reported strong first-half earnings on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Grace Li; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)