* Shanghai stocks end lower, blue-chip CSI300 index down
* Gains in Shanghai stocks led by Aurora Optoelectronics Co Ltd and losses by Anji Foodstuff Co Ltd
* China’s A-shares are at a 19.39 percent premium over H-shares
SHANGHAI, July 17 (Reuters) - China stocks ended lower on Tuesday, with the Shanghai benchmark index down for a third session, dented by energy firms following a sharp decline in crude oil prices.
** The blue-chip CSI300 index closed 0.7 percent down at 3,449.38, while the Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.6 percent lower at 2,798.13 points. ** An index tracking major energy firms closed down 2 percent. ** Oil prices dropped for a second day on Tuesday as worries about possible disruptions to supply eased and as investors focused on potential damage to global growth from the festering Sino-U.S. trade spat. ** Sentiment was also curbed by lingering worries over the U.S.- China trade war. ** “China needs to be prepared for further escalation in Sino-U.S. trade war, as the Trump administration will continue to take tough measures to contain China,” BOCI Securities wrote in report. ** China said it’s still confident of hitting its economic growth target of around 6.5 percent this year despite views that it faces a bumpy second half as a trade row with the United States intensifies. ** China could open its economy if it wished, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday, with the European Union calling on countries to avoid a trade war even as pressure mounts on Beijing over its industrial policies. ** The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday warned that escalating and sustained trade conflicts following U.S. tariff actions threatened to derail economic recovery and depress medium-term growth prospects. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.37 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed 0.44 percent higher. ** At 0704 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.6803 per U.S. dollar, 0.18 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.6924. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Aurora Optoelectronics Co Ltd, which closed up 10.08 percent, followed by China Sports Industry Group Co Ltd, which ended 10.04 percent higher and Nanjing Chemical Fibre Co Ltd, which closed up 10.04 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Anji Foodstuff Co Ltd, which closed down 10 percent, followed by Henan Oriental Silver Star Investment Co Ltd , which ended 10 percent lower and Ningxia Xinri Hengli Steel Wire Rope Co Ltd, which ended down 9.99 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 15.4 percent, the CSI300 fell 14.4 percent, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is down 9.6 percent. Shanghai stocks have declined 1.71 percent this month. ** About 10.54 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 81.1 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 13.00 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 10.78 billion. ** As of 0705 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 19.39 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)