China Covid relaxation, Hong Kong stocks rise

Citizens dine at a restaurant on December 1, 2022 in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province of China.

VCG | Visual China Group | GettyImages

Shares in the Asia-Pacific rose on Monday as China relaxed virus testing rules in some cities, signaling more easing may come in the nation, which has been under strict Covid-related restrictions for more than two years.

Hong Kong’s HangSeng index rose 3.4% in early trade, leading gains in the region, with the Hang Seng Tech index rising 5.94%. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite added 1.03% and the Shenzhen Component gained 0.72%.

Oil prices rose 2% as OPEC+ stuck to its policy of lowering oil production and China relaxed some Covid rules.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 0.11% and the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.6%. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.3%. The MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.67%.

In the US on Friday, stocks fell after a strong jobs report, but markets later focused on the possibility of smaller Fed hikes, and major indexes closed slightly lower.

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