HONG KONG Jan 20 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)