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Hong Kong shares end lower, China GDP data fails to excite

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[HONG KONG] Hong Kong shares fell on Wednesday, giving up some of the previous session's solid gains, as China's economic growth data did little to prop up fragile investor sentiment.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.4 per cent, to 23,304.97, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.8 per cent, to 9,641.22 points.

There was little surprise from China's third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data. The economy grew 6.7 per cent from a year earlier, steady from the previous quarter, as increased government spending and a property boom offset stubbornly weak exports.

And a morning rally in Chinese state companies listed in Hong Kong fizzled out, as investors took profit from gains that had been fuelled by reform hopes.

Most sectors were down, led by materials and industrial stocks.

Hong Kong-listed shares of China Life slid 2.7 per cent, after it forecast a 60 per cent drop in net profit for the first nine months of the year.