* SSEC -0.8 pct, CSI300 -0.8 pct, HSI -0.6 pct
* China factory activity likely slowed for 3rd month-poll
* Investors remain cautious amid escalating trade war
SHANGHAI, Aug 30 (Reuters) - China stocks fell on Thursday morning, with investor confidence remaining weak amid signs factory activity is slowing under pressure from the trade spat with the United States. ** The CSI300 index fell 0.8 percent, to 3,360.92 points, at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8 percent, to 2,746.85 points. ** Activity in China’s vast factory sector likely slowed for the third straight month in August as domestic demand remained weak and exporters faced rising uncertainties from the escalating trade war with the United States, a Reuters poll showed. ** “Investors are relatively pessimistic and cautious for now amid low levels of trading volume, as there are still concerns over the development of Sino-U.S. trade spat,” said Yan Kaiwen, an analyst with China Fortune Securities. ** The Hang Seng index dropped 0.6 percent, to 28,242.62 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.6 percent, to 11,015.17. ** China’s CSI300 financial sector sub-index was lower 0.55 percent, the consumer staples sector down 0.3 percent, the real estate index down 0.42 percent and the healthcare sub-index down 0.95 percent. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 1.18 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 1.42 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.19 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.11 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.8305 per U.S. dollar, 0.15 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.8205. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 11.78 as of the last full trading day, while the dividend yield was 2.7 percent.
Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu