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Industrials drag China shares lower as profit growth pace slows

* SSEC -0.54%, CSI300 -0.5%, HSI -0.15%

* Industrials sub-sector falls 1.43%

* Industrial profits jump, pace of growth slows

SHANGHAI, April 27 (Reuters) - China shares fell on Tuesday, with industrial firms dragging the blue-chip index lower after data showed a slowing pace of profit growth in the sector despite a rapid rise in March.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.54% at 3,422.52 points. China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.5%. ** Profits at China’s industrial firms grew sharply in March from a low base a year earlier, as demand for raw materials surged along with the economic recovery, but the pace of growth has slowed, official data showed on Tuesday. ** The CSI300 industrials sub-index fell 1.43%, the financial sector sub-index dipped 0.45%, info-tech firms slipped 1.36% and the consumer staples sector lost 0.21%. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.05% to 10,986.83, while the Hang Seng index was down 0.15% at 28,910.50. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.82%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.46% and Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index was down 0.9%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.15%, while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.10%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.4866 per U.S. dollar, barely changed from previous day’s close of 6.4865. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 1.5% and the CSI300 has fallen 3.1%, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 2.3%. Shanghai stocks have declined 0.56% this month. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares dipped 0.2% while the IT sector rose 0.3%. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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