March 26, 2018 / 7:45 AM / 6 months ago

China stocks pare losses, reports of US-China trade talks help

* Shanghai stocks lower, blue-chip CSI300 index down, but pare losses Gains in Shanghai stocks led by Taiyuan Chemical Industry Co Ltd and losses by Antong Holdings Co Ltd China’s A-shares are at a 24.95 percent premium over H-shares

SHANGHAI, March 26 (Reuters) - China stocks pared their losses on Monday after reports emerged the United States and China have started talks to improve U.S. access to Chinese markets, easing fears of a trade war between the two economic giants that have rocked global markets.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.6 percent at 3,133.72, while the blue-chip CSI300 index also lost 0.6 percent at 3,879.89.

They were off intraday lows as E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 jumped more than 1 percent.

The Wall Street Journal reported U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer listed steps that Washington wants China to take in a letter to Liu He, a newly appointed vice premier who oversees China’s economy.

China’s foreign ministry said on Monday Beijing is willing to hold talks with the United States to resolve their differences in a hopeful sign a potentially damaging trade war could be avoided.

The tech-heavy start-up board ChiNextP jumped 3.2 percent, led by semiconductor companies and biological products makers.

“The China-U.S trade spat could prompt Beijing to push forward with innovation strategy as it puts more focus on the quality of its economy,” said Chen Xiaopeng, an analyst with Sealand Securities.

As part of efforts to foster new growth drivers, the Export-Import Bank of China (EximBank) and the country’s top economic planner have signed an agreement to boost financing support to emerging industries by more than $100 billion.

For other parts of the stock market, sentiment was still soured by fears of full-blown trade war between the United States and China.

Most sectors fell on Monday, led by financials and energy firms, while gains were seen in few sectors including healthcare companies. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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