* Shanghai stocks lower, blue-chip CSI300 index down
* Gains in Shanghai stocks led by Hainan Haiqi Transportation Group Co Ltd and losses by Shanghai Baosight Software Co Ltd
* China’s A-shares are at a 20.41 percent premium over H-shares
SHANGHAI, May 24 (Reuters) - China stocks extended losses on Thursday, after falling the most in a month in the previous session, as caution prevailed amid renewed concerns over China-U.S. trade tensions.
** The blue-chip CSI300 index closed down 0.7 percent at 3,827.22 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.5 percent lower at 3,154.65 points. ** U.S. President Donald Trump signalled a new direction in U.S.-China trade talks and said any deal would need “a different structure,” fuelling uncertainty over current negotiations. ** Adding to investor worries, the Trump administration has launched a national security investigation into car and truck imports that could lead to new U.S. tariffs similar to those imposed on imported steel and aluminium in March. ** “China opposes the abuse of national security clauses, which will seriously damage multi-lateral trade systems and disrupt normal international trade order,” Gao Feng, spokesman at the Ministry of Commerce, said at a regular news briefing on Thursday, which focused largely on whether Beijing and Washington are making progress in their trade dispute. ** Market reaction to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to China was largely muted. Chinese premier Li Keqiang, in a joint media appearance with Merkel at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, said China and Germany both upheld global free trade, and stressed the huge potential for cooperation between them.
** Most sectors lost ground for the day, led by consumer and industry firms. ** Bucking the broad trend, dairy producers gained as Beijing plans more measures to boost dairy industry, with Lanzhou Zhuangyuan Pasture up 10 percent in Shenzhen. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.16 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 1.11 percent . ** At 0704 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.3885 per U.S. dollar, percent weaker than the previous close of 6.3883. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Hainan Haiqi Transportation Group Co Ltd up 10.02 percent, followed by Zhejiang Tieliu Clutch Co Ltd gaining 10.02 percent and Shanghai Tianyong Engineering Co Ltd up by 10.01 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Shanghai Baosight Software Co Ltd down 6.91 percent, followed by TVZone Media Co Ltd losing 6.17 percent and Wuxi Hongsheng Heat Exchanger Manufacturing Co Ltd down by 5.92 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 4.6 percent, the CSI300 has fallen 5 percent while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 3.5 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 2.36 percent this month. ** As of 0705 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 20.41 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)