China stocks end down amid rising Middle East tensions

* Shanghai stocks end lower, blue-chip CSI300 index closes lower

* Gains in Shanghai stocks led by Datang Telecom Technology Co Ltd and losses by Zhengzhou Coal Industry & Electric Power Co Ltd

* China's A-shares are at a 24.28 percent premium over H-shares

SHANGHAI, April 12 (Reuters) - China stocks ended lower on Thursday, weakened by financial and transport stocks, as investors were rattled about possible U.S. military action against Syria.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 1 percent to 3,898.64 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.9 percent lower at 3,180.16 .

** U.S. president Donald Trump declared that missiles "will be coming" in Syria, taunting Russia for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after a suspected chemical attack on rebels.

** His comments raised the prospect of direct conflict over Syria for the first time between the two world powers backing opposing sides in the seven-year-old civil war, which has also escalated a rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

** Main sectors fell across the board, with both banking and transport firms ending down 1.5 percent.

** Gold shares rallied as investors sought shelter, with Shandong Humon Smelting, which surged 9.8 percent following a 10 percent rise in the previous session.

** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.54 percent, while Japan's Nikkei index closed down 0.12 percent.

** At 0702 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.2824 per U.S. dollar, 0.26 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.2662.

** The largest percentage gainers on the main Shanghai Composite index were Datang Telecom Technology Co Ltd, which gained 10.05 percent, followed by Sunny Loan Top Co Ltd , which jumped 10.04 percent and Xinjiang Youhao Group Co Ltd that rose 10.04 percent.

** The largest percentage losses on the Shanghai index were Zhengzhou Coal Industry & Electric Power Co Ltd, which shed 8.43 percent, followed by Xinjiang Sayram Modern Agriculture Co Ltd, which lost 6.85 percent and Henan Dayou Energy Co Ltd that slipped 6.06 percent.

** About 14.82 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 89.1 percent of the market's 30-day moving average of 16.63 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 17.59 billion.

** As of 0703 GMT, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 24.28 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)