November 29, 2019 / 7:48 AM / 17 days ago

Shanghai stocks close at three-month low on escalating Sino-U.S. trade tensions

SHANGHAI, Nov 29 (Reuters) - China stocks closed lower on Friday, with the benchmark Shanghai index ending at a three-month low, as doubts emerged regarding the prospects of Sino-U.S. tariff talks, amid fresh trade-war headlines.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.9%, to 3,828.67, while the Shanghai Composite index ended down 0.6% at 2,871.98, the lowest closing level since Aug. 26.

** For the week, CSI300 shed 0.6%, while SSEC retreated 0.5%, both logging third straight week of drops.

** Sino-U.S. tensions flared after the U.S. government’s decision to sign a bill backing anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

** China warned the United States on Thursday that it would take “firm counter measures” in response to U.S. legislation backing anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

** For the day, health care firms led the declines, with the CSI300 healthcare index losing 2.8%, after drugmakers slashed prices in China.

** China on Thursday reiterated its pledge to further widen market access for foreign capital and lower non-tariff trade barriers, as it aims to boost flagging trade amid a slowing economy and a trade war with the United States.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.14%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.49%.

** At 07:12 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 7.0336 per U.S. dollar, 0.02% firmer than the previous close of 7.0348.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 15.2% and the CSI300 has risen 27.2%, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 1.7%. Shanghai stocks have declined 1.95% this month.

** About 12.26 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 84.2% of the market’s 30-day moving average of 14.57 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 11.95 billion.

** As of 07:12 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.37% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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