March 9, 2016 / 7:18 AM / 5 months ago

China stocks close lower on trade doubts

* SSEC -0.9%, CSI300 -0.8%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 3.6%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 2.6%

* FTSE China A50 +0.1%

SHANGHAI, Sept 26 (Reuters) - China stocks ended lower on Thursday as mixed signals from Washington and Beijing raised doubts whether the two sides would make any progress in their next round of trade talks.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.8%, to 3,841.14, while the Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.9% to 2,929.09 points.

** U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday a deal to end the nearly 15-month trade war with China could happen sooner than people think and that the Chinese were making big agricultural purchases from the United States, including beef and pork.

** That came after Trumped rebuked China’s trade practices on Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly, saying he would not accept a “bad deal” in the negotiations.

** Over the weekend, hopes for a deal were dampened after Chinese officials unexpectedly cancelled a visit to farms in Montana and Nebraska.

** A further escalation in Sino-U.S. trade tensions is widely expected to be a key downside risk for the A-share market.

** Caution prevailed ahead of the week-long National Day holiday amid uncertainties over the Sino-U.S. trade talks, Dongxing Securities noted in report.

** Market participants were quite divided on whether authorities would ease monetary policies further, given the uncertainties about the timing of potential rate cuts and stringent curbs on real estate policies, the brokerage added.

** Tech firms led the decline on Thursday, with the tech-heavy start-up board ChiNextP down 2.9%.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.07%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.13%.

** At 07:14 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 7.126 per U.S. dollar, 0.08% firmer than the previous close of 7.132.

** As of 07:15 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 30.25% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; editing by John Stonestreet)

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