SHANGHAI (April 17): China stocks closed lower on Tuesday, with Shanghai index ending at a near one-year low, as tech shares were punched hard after the United States banned American companies from selling components to Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp.
The blue-chip CSI300 index closed down 1.6% at 3,748.64 points, its lowest since August 2017, while the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.4% to 3,066.80 points, its lowest closing level since May 2017.
Sectors fell across the board, led by healthcare and material shares.
US President Donald Trump accused Russia and China on Monday of devaluing their currencies, while the United States raises interest rates.
China's foreign ministry said on Tuesday that information coming out of United States regarding the Chinese currency is "a bit chaotic", after Trump accused China in a Twitter post on Monday of devaluing its currency.
The US Department of Commerce has banned American companies from selling components to Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp for seven years after breaking an agreement reached after it was caught illegally shipping goods to Iran.
In response, China's Ministry of Commerce said it is ready to take necessary measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.
ZTE's shares in Shanghai and Hong Kong were on a trading halt on Tuesday.
China's tech shares were punched hard after the ZTE ban, with an index tracking major information firms tumbling nearly 4%.
The tech-heavy start-up board index also closed down 3% in its worst day since late March.
Worries over escalating trade tensions between China and the United States intensified in late session after China's Ministry of Commerce said China will take temporary anti-dumping measures on US sorghum.
Investors also pondered over data showing China's economy grew at a slightly faster-than-expected pace of 6.8% in the first quarter, buoyed by strong consumer demand, healthy exports and robust property investment.
Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.4%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 0.06%.
At 0744 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.2791 per US dollar, 0.05% weaker than the previous close of 6.2761.
The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Hna Innovation Co Ltd, which closed 10.08% higher, followed by Gansu Dunhuang Seed Co Ltd, which ended 7.04% up and Lawton Development Co Ltd that rose 6.05%.
The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Shanghai Fukong Interactive Entertainment Co Ltd, which closed 10.04% down, followed by Keda Group Co Ltd, which ended 10.04% lower and Shanghai Feilo Acoustics Co Ltd that plunged 10%.
As of 0713 GMT, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 22.78% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.