China stocks tick lower before Phase 1 trade deal

* SSEC -0.7%, CSI300 -0.8%, HSI -0.9%, HSCE -0.7%

* U.S. to keep tariffs on China until Phase 2 deal - Mnuchin

* China to ramp up U.S. buys under Phase 1 trade deal - source

HONG KONG, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Chinese shares fell on Wednesday after the U.S. Treasury Secretary said tariffs on Chinese goods will stay in place, even as the two countries prepared to sign a Phase 1 trade deal later in the day.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.7% at 3,086.32 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.8%. ** CSI300’s financial sector sub-index fell almost 1%, the consumer staples sector rose 0.3%, the real estate index lost 1.4% and the healthcare sub-index was up 0.2%. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong fell 0.7%, while the Hang Seng Index was down 0.9% at 28,638.95. ** The smaller Shenzhen index fell 0.6% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.4%. ** The United States will maintain tariffs on Chinese goods until the completion of a second phase of a U.S.-China trade agreement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday. ** In the previous session, CSI300 touched near two-year highs after the U.S. Treasury withdrew its designation of China as a currency manipulator, in a major de-escalation of the 18-month long Sino-U.S. trade conflict. ** Trump is slated to sign the Phase 1 trade deal with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. (1630 GMT). ** Under the Phase 1 trade deal, China would also buy over $50 billion more in energy supplies and boost purchases of U.S. services by about $35 billion over the same period, the source, who was briefed on the deal, told Reuters late on Monday. ** Commodity traders and analysts are struggling to map out how China will reach the eye-popping amounts it is committing to buy from the United States without threatening trade ties with other suppliers, hurting its own domestic producers, and making substantial changes to import standards and quotas. ** Shares in China’s car makers, rare earths-related firms and agricultural companies dropped on Tuesday. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.5%, while Japan’s Nikkei index fell 0.5%. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Ningbo Shenglong Automotive Powertrain System Co Ltd , down almost 10%, followed by Liaoning Shidai Wanheng Co Ltd, losing 9.9% and ButOne Information Corporation XiAn, down by almost 9%. ** So far this month, the Shanghai stock index is up 1.2%. It was up 6.2% in December 2019. ** The Shanghai stock index is above its 50-day moving average and above its 200-day moving average. (Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)