* Shanghai stocks close firmer, blue-chip CSI300 index up
* Gains in Shanghai stocks led by Tianjin Songjiang Co Ltd and losses by Hongfa Technology Co Ltd
* China’s A-shares are at a 18.17 percent premium over H-shares
SHANGHAI, July 31 (Reuters) - China stocks closed higher on Tuesday, aided by gains in real estate and energy firms, while the market response to the country’s manufacturing data has been relatively muted.
** The blue-chip CSI300 index ended 0.1 percent higher at 3,517.66 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.3 percent firmer at 2,876.40 points. ** Leading the gains, real estate firms rose 1.6 percent, while energy sector gained 0.6 percent. ** For the month, SSEC was up 1.0 percent, while CSI300 inched up 0.2 percent. ** Growth in China’s manufacturing sector slowed more than expected in July, as the worsening trade dispute with Washington, bad weather and weaker domestic demand weighed on factory activity. ** Chinese fund managers increased their suggested equity exposure for the next three months, as market sentiment improved amid signs of monetary and fiscal policy easing. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.2 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed 0.04 percent higher. ** At 0705 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.827 per U.S. dollar, 0.12 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.8188. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Tianjin Songjiang Co Ltd, which ended up 10.15 percent, followed by Taiyuan Chemical Industry Co Ltd , which closed 10.08 percent higher and Weifang Yaxing Chemical Co Ltd, which ended 10.06 percent firmer. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Hongfa Technology Co Ltd, which ended down 10.01 percent, followed by Wuhan Yangtze Communication Industry Group Co Ltd, which closed down 10 percent and Delixi Xinjiang Transportation Co Ltd, which closed lower by 9.84 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 13 percent, the CSI300 dropped 12.7 percent, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong slipped 6 percent. Shanghai stocks gained 1.02 percent this month. ** About 11.89 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 84.8 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 14.02 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 15.17 billion. ** As of 07:06 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 18.17 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)