China stocks flat as investors await trade deal details

SHANGHAI, Oct 17 (Reuters) - China’s major stock indexes ended roughly flat on Thursday in thin trading, as caution prevailed as investors awaited more details on a proposed Sino-U.S. trade deal.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.1%, to 3,925.22, while the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.1% to 2,977.33.

** U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators are working on nailing down a Phase 1 trade deal text for their presidents to sign next month, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday, adding he was prepared to travel to Beijing for more meetings if necessary.

** On the same day, the U.S. State Department and Congress took aim at China, even as President Donald Trump hailed “goodwill” between Washington and Beijing and said he expected to sign the first phase of a trade deal with President Xi Jinping next month.

** China said it would remove business restrictions on foreign banks, brokerages and fund management firms, though market reaction was muted as the move could have limited impact on the competitive landscape of an industry dominated by China’s state firms.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.11%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.09%.

** At 07:15 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 7.095 per U.S. dollar, barely changed compared with the previous close of 7.095.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 19.4% and the CSI300 has risen 30.4%, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 4.3%. Shanghai stocks have risen 2.48% this month.

** About 12.25 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 66.0% of the market’s 30-day moving average of 18.56 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 14.99 billion.

** As of 07:16 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.57% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Alex Richardson)