SHANGHAI, Nov 25 (Reuters) - China stocks started the week higher on Monday, underpinned by fresh hopes for progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks following positive comments from both sides.
** The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.7%, to 3,878.21, while the Shanghai Composite Index also closed up 0.7% at 2,906.17.
* The leaders of the United States and China on Friday underscored their desire to sign an initial trade deal and defuse a 16-month tariff war that has lowered global growth, providing a welcome boost to financial markets.
** U.S. national security adviser Robert O'Brien said on Saturday that an initial agreement is still possible by the end of the year, but warned Washington would not turn a blind eye to what happens in Hong Kong.
** China and the United States are 'very close' to a phase one trade deal, the Global Times, a tabloid run by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, said on Monday, discounting "negative" media reports.
** The market also found help in robust foreign inflows ahead of the taking effective of MSCI's further A-share inclusion. For the day, investors bought a net 7 billion yuan ($994.47 million) worth of A-shares via the Stock Connect linking Hong Kong and the mainland.
** Bucking the broad strength, the tech-heavy start-up board ChiNextP ended down 1.1%, as tech players, in particular Huawei suppliers declined after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission moved to bar Huawei Technologies from a government subsidy program.
** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.66%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 0.78%.
** At 07:28 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 7.0325 per U.S. dollar, 0.11% firmer than the previous close of 7.0405.
** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 16.5% and the CSI300 has risen 28.8%, while China's H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 4.9%. Shanghai stocks have declined 0.78% this month.
** As of 07:29 GMT, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 27.96% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ($1 = 7.0389 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom)