May 15, 2018 / 4:47 AM / 12 days ago

China, HK stocks fall as resurgent economic worries outweigh MSCI optimism

* SSEC -0.2 pct, CSI300 -0.3 pct, HSI -0.9 pct

* MSCI lists 234 Chinese stocks for index inclusion

* U.S. ambassador says U.S., China “far apart” on trade

SHANGHAI, May 15 (Reuters) - China and Hong Kong stocks fell on Tuesday, as worries about China’s economy and Sino-U.S. trade war resurfaced, outweighing optimism from a largely symbolic move by MSCI to finalize a list for A-share inclusion next month. ** The CSI300 index was down 0.3 percent at 3,896.56 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent to 3,167.16 points.

** The Hang Seng index dropped 0.9 percent to 31,256.32 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index slipped 0.7 percent to 12,455.58.

** China reported weaker-than-expected investment and retail sales in April and a drop in home sales, clouding its economic outlook.

** Sentiment was also soured after U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad said the two countries are still “very far apart” on resolving trade frictions.

** Chinese stocks fell even as MSCI, the U.S. index publisher, said on Tuesday 234 Chinese large caps will be partially included in its global and regional indexes on June 1, following a review ahead of China’s inclusion in MSCI’s widely tracked equity benchmarks. China’s MSCI entry has been largely priced in since the announcement was made last June. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.12 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was unchanged. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.75 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.05 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.3468 per U.S. dollar, 0.16 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.3369. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Jiangsu Rutong Petro-Machinery Co Ltd up 10.03 percent, followed by Zhejiang Dehong Automotive Electronic & Electrical Co Ltd, which gained 10.02 percent and Shanghai Baolong Automotive Corp up by 10 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Aurora Optoelectronics Co Ltd down 9.98 percent, followed by Shanghai Diesel Engine Co Ltd losing 7.68 percent and Daqian Ecology Environment Group Co Ltd , which slipped 7.33 percent. ** The top gainers among H-shares were CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd up 4.77 percent, followed by Huaneng Power International Inc gaining 3.41 percent and Great Wall Motor Co Ltd up by 1.11 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were New China Life Insurance Co Ltd, which fell 2.82 percent, Tencent Holdings Ltd, which lost 2.4 percent and PICC Property and Casualty Co Ltd, that lost 2.3 percent. ** About 6.55 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 44.8 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 14.61 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 12.93 billion shares, as of the last full trading day. ** As of 0429 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 21.01 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average.

Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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