* CSI300 -0.1 pct, SSEC -0.1 pct, HSI +0.2 pct
* China home prices up 7.3 pct y/y but gains ease m/m
* Weakening outlooks weighs on construction shares
* People’s Daily article cites weakening housing investment
By Nathaniel Taplin
SHANGHAI, July 18 (Reuters) - China stocks dipped on Monday, weighed down by property and financial shares after data showed gains in home prices were slowing.
Although June home prices still rose 7.3 percent year-on- year, prices edged up only 0.8 percent for the month, slightly weaker than in May, according to Reuters calculations based on data issued by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The price report followed data on Friday which showed growth in investment in China’s real estate sector had slowed in first half of 2016, adding to worries that a construction-led pick-up in the economy may not be sustainable.
The CSI300 index fell 0.1 percent to 3,273.46 points by the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1 percent to 3,050.93.
Real estate, construction and utilities stocks led indexes lower, with the Shanghai Composite property sub-index off 0.5 percent.
An article in the official People’s Daily newspaper on Monday added to fears that the property market was losing momentum, analysts said.
The article cited a report by the government-linked Chinese Academy of Social Sciences saying that house price growth will slow down from the second half of 2016 to the second quarter of 2017, and the pace of investment in real estate will ease.
With other portions of the economy still under pressure, the real estate recovery in recent months has provided a key source of support for industry and the labour market, and equities are highly attuned to any signs of weakening.
“The market is extremely sensitive right now,” said Li Zheming, analyst at Datong Securities in Dalian.
China CSI300 stock index futures for August fell 0.1 percent, to 3,238.8, 34.66 points below the current value of the underlying index.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index edged up 0.2 percent to 21,696.43 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.1 percent to 9,039.22.
The index measuring price differences between dual-listed companies in Shanghai and Hong Kong stood at 128.90.
A value above 100 indicates Shanghai shares are pricing at a premium to shares in the same company trading in Hong Kong, and vice versa.
The northbound quota for the Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect, currently set at 13 billion yuan, saw net inflows of 0.44 billion yuan.
Total volume of A shares traded in Shanghai was 10.34 billion shares, while Shenzhen volume was 12.56 billion shares.
Total trading volume of companies included in the HSI index was 0.6 billion shares.
Editing by Kim Coghill