Hong Kong shares off 2-week high

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Hong Kong - Hong Kong shares were knocked off a two-week high on Monday after data showed an easing in China's pace of economic expansion in the last quarter due to sagging investment growth.

Chinese growth-sensitive sectors were the leading drags on the index, and a weak mainland market was another factor.

The Shanghai Composite Index closed below the 2,000-point mark for the first time in 5-1/2 months as soaring short-term funding costs deepened uneasiness that new A-share listings will inject more competition for already limited cash.

The Hang Seng Index, which closed on Friday at its highest since January 2, ended down 0.9 percent at 22,929 points.

The China Enterprises Index of the leading offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong sank 1.3 percent.

Losses came in weak turnover as an initial lift from China's macroeconomic data that came in a fraction better than expectation faded in afternoon trade.

Fourth-quarter GDP growth came in at 7.7 percent, compared with 7.6 percent forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll but easing from 7.8 percent in the previous three months.

Haier Electronics dived 6.5 percent after closing on Friday at its highest in about 14-1/2 years.

Private equity firm Carlyle Group offered 100 million shares in a range of HK$22.00-$22.50 each, reflecting an up to 10 percent discount to Friday's close, Thomson Reuters IFR reported last Friday. - Reuters

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