Hong Kong Shares Close Down 2 pct, Lowest Since Early December

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Hong Kong shares slumped to their lowest level in more than three months on Monday, with growth-sensitive sectors taking the brunt of a broad risk-off mood triggered by renewed concerns about the euro zone and China's property sector.

Hong Kong shares slumped to their lowest level in more than three months on Monday, with growth-sensitive sectors taking the brunt of a broad risk-off mood triggered by renewed concerns about the euro zone and China's property sector.

The Hang Seng Index closed down 2 percent at 22,083.4. The China Enterprises Index of the leading Chinese listings in Hong Kong dived 2.1 percent. Both indexes closed at their lowest since early December.

The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings ended down 1.5 percent at 2,502.5. The Shanghai Composite Index shed 1.7 percent to close at its lowest since Dec. 28.

HIGHLIGHTS:

* Citic Securities slid 3.7 percent after the official China Securities Journal reported that Bank of China Ltd Chairman Xiao Gang was named head of the China Securities Regulatory Commission at a Sunday meeting of the agency. The report sparked worries that the departure of current commission chairman Guo Shuqing could slow reforms in the sector.

* Shares of bigger Chinese property counters rebounded, while smaller rivals dipped as investors bet on the ability of larger developers to survive any additional curbs on the housing market.

* Official data showed on Monday that China's new home prices rose in February from a year ago for a second consecutive month, though gains are expected to ease after the government unveiled tougher tax plans this month to curb real estate speculation.

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