July 14, 2020 / 7:33 AM / in 22 days

China shares end lower as investors book profits, uncertainty looms

* SSEC -0.83%, up from intraday lows; CSI300 -0.95%

* ChiNext pulls back from multi-year highs

* China premier warns of 'hard battle' ahead despite economic recovery

SHANGHAI, July 14 (Reuters) - China shares closed lower on Tuesday as investors consolidated their positions from a recent bull run, and as uncertainty over China's economic outlook and relationship with the United States weighed despite encouraging trade data.

** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.83% at 3,414.62. The index trimmed losses that had pushed it down more than 2% in afternoon trade. It has gained 14.4% this month. ** The ChiNext Composite start-up board, which hit multi-year highs in the previous session, fell 1.064% and the Shenzhen index ended down 0.85%. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.95%. ** Shares dropped despite data showing China's exports and imports rose last month, bolstering hopes that Beijing's recovery from the pandemic is gaining traction. ** But while China's economy is showing steady recovery, a hard battle still lies ahead as the situation remains severe both at home and abroad, state radio quoted Premier Li Keqiang as saying on Monday. ** About 54.32 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 168.8% of the market's 30-day moving average of 32.18 billion shares a day. ** Adding to broad market concerns were rising tensions between the United States and China. ** Washington on Monday rejected China's disputed claims to offshore resources in the South China Sea, and China announced sanctions against U.S. officials and entities in retaliation for U.S. sanctions over alleged human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslim minority. ** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.92%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed down 0.87%. ** At 07:09 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 7.0135 per U.S. dollar, 0.22% weaker than the previous close of 6.998 and set for its worst day in three weeks. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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