May 7, 2020 / 7:37 AM / 20 days ago

China stocks close lower on bleak global trade outlook

* Shanghai shares fall 0.2%, blue-chips down 0.3%

* China posts unexpected rise in exports but a double-digit fall in imports

* Trump to report China’s fulfillment in a trade deal

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, May 7 (Reuters) - China stocks ended lower on Thursday, as investors remained cautious on a bleak trade outlook globally that could slow the recovery in the world’s second largest economy from the coronavirus crisis.

** The Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.23% at 2,871.52. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.29%, with its financial sector sub-index lower by 0.69%, the consumer staples sector up 0.89%, the real estate index down 0.95% and the healthcare sub-index up 0.03%. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 0.11% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.162%.

** China’s exports unexpectedly rose in April for the first time this year as factories raced to make up for lost sales due to the coronavirus shock, but a double-digit fall in imports signals more trouble ahead as the global economy sinks into recession.

** Investors are also trading cautiously amid signs of renewed Sino-U.S. tensions. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would be able to report in about a week or two whether China is fulfilling its obligations under a Phase 1 trade deal the two countries signed in January before the coronavirus spread globally.

** China reported two new coronavirus cases for May 6, imported unchanged from the same number of increases the day before, data from the national health authority showed on Thursday. Both were so-called imported cases involving travellers from overseas.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.1%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.28%. (Reporting by Zhang Yan in Beijing, and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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