July 31, 2019 / 7:55 AM / a year ago

China stocks falter on trade risks; Shanghai shares end month lower

* SSEC -0.7%, CSI300 -0.9%, HSI -1.3%, HSCE -1.3%

* Shanghai shares clock monthly loss; Hang Seng at 7-week low

* Trump warns China on deal delay, Beijing blames U.S. flip-flop

* Hong Kong markets shut early as city braces for typhoon

HONG KONG, July 31 (Reuters) - China stock market ended down on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump issued fresh threats to China, and as developers dropped on a less supportive policy tone from Beijing. ** The Shanghai Composite index closed 0.7% weaker at 2,932.51 points, ending the month down 1.6%. The blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.9% on Wednesday, but edged up 0.3% month-on-month. ** CSI300’s financial sector sub-index was lower by 1.3%, the consumer staples sector was down 1.1% and the healthcare sub-index dropped 0.6%. ** Hong Kong’s markets were suspended in early afternoon as the city braced for a tropical storm. Before trading halted, Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong were down 1.3%. The Hang Seng Index was also down 1.3% at 27,777.75, its lowest level since June 11. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.7% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.6%. ** Trump on Tuesday warned China against waiting out his first term to finalize any trade deal, saying if he wins re-election in the November 2020 U.S. presidential contest, the outcome will be worse for China. ** The remarks came as top U.S. and Chinese trade officials met in Shanghai on Wednesday for talks in a bid to end a year-long trade war. ** China said on Wednesday afternoon the latest round of talks have concluded. The country’s foreign ministry accused the United States of flip-flopping over the past year, adding that progress can only be made if Washington shows enough sincerety. ** Shares in Chinese developers slid over 3% after a top decision-making body of the ruling Communist Party said on Tuesday that China will not use the property market as a form of short-term stimulus. ** These comments imply that the Chinese leadership “hopes to stimulate economic growth through consumption, stimulus real estate and investment is not a policy option at the moment,” analysts at Chuancai Securities wrote in a note on Wednesday. ** Policymakers also stressed they will step up efforts to boost demand and support the economy, and will “continue to implement the policy of tax and fee cuts.” ** China’s factory activity shrank for a third straight month in July, an official survey showed on Wednesday. The gauge stood at 49.7, a touch higher than in June, but fell short of the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.7%, while Japan’s Nikkei index dropped 0.9%. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 30.18% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is above its 50-day moving average and above the 200-day moving average. (Reporting by Noah Sin, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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