Chinese stocks hovered around a five-month low as the market remained fixated on the sluggish economic recovery, while “candid” talks between the American and Chinese commerce chiefs on the countries’ fractious trade relationship failed to lift the gloom. The CSI 300 Index gained less than 0.1 per cent to 3,850.95 on Friday, erasing a loss of as much as 0.9 per cent earlier in the session. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.4 per cent to 3,212.50, while the Shenzhen Composite Index rose 0.3 per cent to 2,012.49. Hong Kong’s financial markets were closed for a public holiday. China’s largest chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), gained 2.9 per cent to 51.80 yuan and chip equipment maker Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment jumped 3.1 per cent to 164.53 yuan, leading gains in semiconductor stocks. State-owned enterprises jumped, with China Mobile rising 2.5 per cent to 93.77 yuan and Bank of Communications adding 2.8 per cent to 5.81 yuan. Limiting gains, Electric vehicle maker BYD slipped 3.4 per cent to 246.99 yuan and its rival Great Wall Motor lost 4.3 per cent to 23.74 yuan, as the two traded barbs over emissions claims . Solar panel maker Longi Green Energy Technology dropped 2.9 per cent to 31.49 yuan. Sentiment in the A-share market – yuan-denominated, Chinese onshore stocks – is “flattish” due to unbalanced growth recovery, said Laura Wang, chief China equity strategist at Morgan Stanley, in a note on Thursday. China’s stocks are likely to stay range-bound in the near term as uncertainty over the strength of the country’s recovery continues, she added. The CSI 300 index is down 2.4 per cent this week as it heads towards a fourth losing month. The benchmark has slipped 8.3 per cent from its peak at the end of January, wiping out US$1 trillion from domestic markets. “The prolonged stock market corrections over the past 3 months, in our view, have largely reflected investor concerns over economic fundamentals or geopolitical risks,” said Patrick Pan, China-equity strategist at Daiwa Capital Markets Hong Kong, in a note on Friday. Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao and US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo held a meeting on Thursday in the wake of a series of trade and national security spats between the two countries. The pair had “candid and substantive” talks about trade and investment, Raimondo’s office said. Elsewhere, Yarward Electronics Shandong surged 55 per cent to 50.80 yuan on its trading debut in Shenzhen. Most major Asia-Pacific markets advanced. Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.4 per cent, while South Korea’s Kospi and the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia both added 0.2 per cent.