Stocks in China edged lower on Monday as investors await a flurry of data in coming weeks to assess the health of the economy.
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But losses were capped by growing hopes that MSCI will include Chinese shares in its emerging market index in a decision next week, which could spark foreign buying.
The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 0.3 percent to 3,178.79, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent to 2,934.10 points.
"In the coming week, the market will focus on May's credit and economic data," wrote Gao Ting, head of China strategy at UBS Securities.
"We believe if the economy can basically stabilize at April's levels and if there is no sign of significant monetary policy tightening, the market could get some support."
May data is expected to reinforce views that the world's second-largest economy is slowly steadying but not gaining momentum as investors had hoped just a few months ago, a Reuters' poll of economists showed.
Mot sectors were down on Monday, with financial and consumer shares leading the decline.
(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Kim Coghill)