China stocks end lower as Sino-U.S. tensions weigh

SHANGHAI, Aug 11 (Reuters) – China stocks ended lower on Tuesday, dragged down by tech firms, as worries over rising Sino-U.S. tensions weighed on investor sentiment.

** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 1.15% at 3,340.29, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.91%.

** The tech-heavy start-up board ChiNext lost 1.7%, while the newly-launched STAR50 slid 2.9%.

** Leading the declines, the CSI SWS securities index dropped 3.4%.

** China imposed sanctions on 11 U.S. citizens including lawmakers from President Donald Trump’s Republican Party on Monday in response to Washington’s imposition of sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese officials accused of curtailing political freedoms in the former British colony.

** Investors are awaiting a meeting between top U.S. and Chinese trade officials on Saturday to review the first six months of the Phase 1 trade deal.

** China faces challenges in fulfilling the trade agreement, with the energy commitments of the deal looking difficult due to the coronavirus-driven plunge in demand, Soochow Securities said in a report.

** China bought only 5% of the targeted $25.3 billion in energy products from the United States in the first half of 2020, falling well short of its trade deal commitments at a time when relations between the two top economies are already sour.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.49%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.88%.

** At 0704 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.9563 per U.S. dollar, 0.08% firmer than the previous close of 6.9621.

** China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 35.23% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares by 0704 GMT. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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