August 22, 2018 / 7:23 AM / in a month

China stocks fall as infrastructure, utilities firms weigh

* Shanghai stocks lower, blue-chip CSI300 index down

* Shanghai losses led by Gansu Gangtai

* China A-shares at 16.20 percent premium over H-shares

SHANGHAI, Aug 22 (Reuters) - China stocks fell on Wednesday, weighed down by persistent economic concerns and worries over the outlook for trade ahead of lower-level talks between Washington and Beijing. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.6 percent to 3,307.95 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index ended down 0.7 percent at 2,714.61 points. ** Trading activity was thin, with Shanghai stocks seeing the lowest trading volume in one and half years. ** Most sectors retreated, led by infrastructure and utilities firms. ** China’s central bank on Tuesday said it will not resort to strong stimulus to support the slowing economy but will keep liquidity reasonably ample and offer more help to companies which are having trouble obtaining financing. ** Meetings expected to take place on Wednesday and Thursday in Washington are the first formal U.S.-China trade talks since June, but U.S. President Donald Trump said he did not expect much progress from the talks. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.15 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.64 percent. ** At 07:04 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.8435 per U.S. dollar, 0.11 percent firmer than previous close of 6.8513. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Aerosun Corp up 10.07 percent, followed by Hainan Haiqi Transportation Group Co Ltd gaining 10.04 percent and Delixi Xinjiang Transportation Co Ltd up by 10.02 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Gansu Gangtai Holding Group Co Ltd down 10.05 percent, followed by Shanghai Jahwa United Co Ltd losing 9.99 percent and Hylink Digital Solution Co Ltd down by 9.98 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 17.9 percent, the CSI300 has fallen 17.9 percent while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is down 7.3 percent. Shanghai stocks have declined 5.62 percent this month. ** About 9.37 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 68.5 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 13.68 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 11.36 billion. ** As of 07:05 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 16.20 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 11.87 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 2.7 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has risen by 2.53 percent to 29.06 trillion yuan. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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