February 23, 2016 / 7:16 AM / a month ago

China stocks close down amid trade uncertainty

* SSEC -0.4%, CSI300 -0.7%, HSI 1.5%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 4.3%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 0%

* FTSE China A50 -0.8%

SHANGHAI, Sept 11 (Reuters) - China stocks ended down on Wednesday, after a senior White House adviser played down expectations of fresh trade talks, while the market reacted coolly to a largely symbolic pledge to further liberalise the country’s financial markets.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.7%, to 3,930.10, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4% to 3,008.81 points.

** Caution remained amid lingering uncertainties over potential trade negotiations between China and the United States.

** A senior White House adviser damped down expectations on Tuesday for the next rounds of U.S.-China trade talks, urging investors, businesses and the public to be patient about resolving the two-year trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

** Meanwhile, Beijing’s latest effort to further open up its financial markets seemed to provide limited support for the market, at least for now, as the move appeared largely symbolic.

** China’s foreign exchange regulator said on Tuesday that it had decided to scrap quota restrictions on two major inbound investment schemes, as a weakening yuan and rising outflows prompt Beijing to seek to attract more foreign capital.

** “At the end of the day, whether foreign investors will invest more in China or not depends on the current and future fundamental outlook of the underlying economy, trend of corporate earnings, attractiveness of their yield and yield spreads, and the perceived strength or weakness of the (yuan),” said Khiem Do, head of Greater China investments at Barings.

** The defensive consumer and healthcare firms led losses for the day. The CSI300 consumer staples index ended down 3.9%, dragged down by liquor makers in particular.

** Prices of liquor maker Moutai’s product Feitian declined before the traditional Mid-Autumn festival, Jiuyejia.com, a domestic liquor media, said in a report today.

** Moutai, mainland’s 4th largest company, slumped 4.8% on Wednesday, posting its steepest single-day loss in four months.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.63%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.96%.

** At 07:20 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 7.1168 per U.S. dollar, 0.05% weaker than the previous close of 7.113.

** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Liaoning Hongyang Energy Resource Invest Co Ltd, up 10.06%, followed by Zhejiang Guangsha Co Ltd , gaining 10.05% and ENN Ecological Holdings Co Ltd , up by 10.02%.

** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Hefei Metalforming Intelligent Manufacturing Co Ltd down 10.06%, followed by Shanghai East-China Computer Co Ltd losing 9.35% and Beken Corp down by 9.08%.

** As of 07:21 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 28.63% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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