* Blue-chip CSI300 index down
* Gains in Shanghai stocks led by Suzhou Douson Drilling&Production Equipment Co Ltd and losses by Qian Jiang Water Resources Development Co Ltd
SHANGHAI, May 22 (Reuters) - Shanghai stocks erased early losses to end flat on Tuesday, amid signs of easing trade tensions, after the United States and China are said to be nearing a deal to settle ZTE controversy. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.4 percent, to 3,906.21 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index ended flat at 3,214.35 points. ** Washington and Beijing are nearing a deal that would remove an existing U.S. order banning American companies from supplying Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp , two people briefed on the talks told Reuters. ** Trading in ZTE stock remains suspended, but telecoms firms were encouraged by the news, with an index tracking major telecoms firms closing up 1 percent. ** Healthcare firms led the gains on Tuesday, in particular firms engaged in baby & maternity care industries, after reports that China is considering scrapping birth limits by 2019. ** On the other hand, real estate firms dragged with a 2 percent drop. ** A slew of lower-tier cities have rolled out fresh tightening measures against speculation in the housing sector in May, while China’s housing ministry said it would step up checks on local governments’ efforts to rein in property prices.
** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.14 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.18 percent . ** At 07:00 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.3761 per U.S. dollar, 0.08 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.3809. ** The largest percentage gainers on the main Shanghai Composite index were Suzhou Douson Drilling&Production Equipment Co Ltd up 10.02 percent, followed by Tibet Weixinkang Medicine Co Ltd gaining 10.02 percent and Shanghai Aiyingshi Co Ltd up by 10.01 percent. ** The largest percentage losers on the Shanghai index were Qian Jiang Water Resources Development Co Ltd down 5.63 percent, followed by Shandong Tyan Home Co Ltd losing 5.03 percent and Future Land Holdings Co Ltd down by 4.78 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 2.8 percent, the CSI300 has fallen 3.1 percent, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 5.5 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 4.29 percent this month. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)