* SSEC -0.1%, CSI300 -0.3%, HSI +0.1%
* Trump says slower China growth shows tariffs’ ‘major effect’
* Yuan firmer at 6.8745 per dollar
SHANGHAI, July 16 (Reuters) - Chinese shares retreated on Tuesday after three sessions of gains as investors fretted over slower growth in the world’s second-largest economy and the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war, even as new data highlighted Beijing’s efforts to boost spending.
** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.11% at 2,939.08 points. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.34%, with its financial sector sub-index lower by 0.17%, the consumer staples sector down 1.27%, the real estate index up 1.4% and the healthcare sub-index down 0.7%. ** U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said slowing economic growth in China is evidence that U.S. tariffs were having “a major effect” and warned that Washington could pile on more pressure. China’s economy grew by 6.2% in the second quarter of 2019, its slowest quarterly pace on record. ** China’s fiscal spending increased 10.7% in the first six months from a year earlier, the finance ministry said on Tuesday, underlining the government’s bid to support the slowing economy. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was flat and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.26%. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.06% at 10,845.71, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.13% at 28,592.44. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.22% while Japan’s Nikkei index fell 0.72%. Investors are awaiting U.S. retail sales data and corporate earnings to gauge the health of the world’s biggest economy, and remain focused on a likely U.S. rate cut this month. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.8745 per U.S. dollar, 0.04% firmer than the previous close of 6.8775. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were China Satellite Communications Co Ltd, up 10.04%, followed by Befar Group Co Ltd, gaining 9.94%, and Jiangsu Chengxing Phosph-Chemical Co Ltd, up by 9.94%. ** The largest percentage losers in the Shanghai index were BanBao Co Ltd, down 5.55%, followed by Shenzhen Sunxing Light Alloys Materials Co Ltd, losing 5.22%, and Beijing Xinwei Technology Group Co Ltd, down by 5.01%. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 17.98%, while China’s H-share index is up 7.1%. Shanghai stocks have declined 1.23% this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, up 3.45%, followed by PICC Property and Casualty Co Ltd, gaining 2.91%, and China Communications Construction Co Ltd, up by 2.24%. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China National Building Material Co Ltd, which has fallen 2.92%, Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd, which has lost 2.1% and China Gas Holdings Ltd, down by 2.0%. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares dipped 0.7%, while the IT sector rose 0.4%. The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, up 2.69%, while the biggest loser was CNOOC Ltd, which was down 1.48%.
Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu