May 2, 2018 / 7:25 AM / in a year

China shares close roughly flat ahead of Sino-U.S. trade talks

* Shanghai stocks flat, blue-chip CSI300 index up

* Gains in Shanghai stocks led by Whirlpool and losses by Asia Cuanon Technology

* China’s A-shares are at a 20.21 percent premium over H-shares

SHANGHAI, May 2 (Reuters) - China stocks ended Wednesday roughly flat as investors returning from the Labour Day holiday braced for trade talks between U.S. and Chinese officials amid worries about economic health.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.2 percent, to 3,763.65, while the Shanghai Composite Index ended flat at 3,081.18 points. ** Senior U.S. and Chinese officials will hold trade talks from Thursday in China, as Washington threatens to impose tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese imports and Beijing vowed to retaliate. ** Investors are also concerned over the health of China’s economy. “Despite a solid Q1, we still see some concerns and expect more downward pressure on bottomline growth in the next few quarters,” Gao Ting, head of China Strategy at UBS Securities, wrote. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was up, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.05 percent, the consumer staples sector up 0.38 percent, the real estate index down 0.4 percent and healthcare sub-index up 0.52 percent. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 0.07 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.22 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.14 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.16 percent . ** At 07:07 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.3624 per U.S. dollar, 0.5 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.331. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Whirlpool China Co Ltd up 10.07 percent, followed by Shanghai Kaichuang Marine International Co Ltd gaining 10.01 percent and Tibet Rhodiola Pharmaceutical Holding Co up by 10 percent. ** The largest percentage losers in the Shanghai index were Asia Cuanon Technology Shanghai Co Ltd down 10.02 percent, followed by Huayi Electric Co Ltd losing 10.02 percent and Wenyi Suntech Co Ltd down by 10.02 percent. ** About 13.42 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 85.2 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 15.75 billion shares a day. ** As of 07:07 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 20.21 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 13.25 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 2.3 percent. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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