Asian Shares Rise On China Reopening Buzz

Asian stocks rose on Tuesday, with mainland China and Hong Kong markets leading the surge, as China reported a slight dip in new COVID-19 infections and China reopening rumors swirled ahead of a press conference later in the day on COVID prevention and control measures.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped 2.3 percent to 3,149.75, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged 5.2 percent to 18,204.68.

Shares and bonds of China’s property developers soared after the country’s securities regulator eased a restriction on developers’ fundraising.

Japanese shares bucked the regional trend to end at a one-week low after protests erupted in major Chinese cities, raising concerns about economic growth. Disappointing retail sales data also weighed on sentiment.

The Nikkei 225 Index dropped 0.5 percent to 28,027.84, marking its lowest since November 21. The broader Topix closed 0.6 percent lower at 1,992.97. Eisai plummeted 6.2 percent after reports of a second death in a trial of its Alzheimer’s treatment.

Seoul stocks rallied after Beijing rolled out more stimulus measures and speculation mounted that the Chinese government was considering scaling back its anti-COVID policies following countrywide protests over the weekend.

The Kospi climbed 1.0 percent to 2,433.39, snapping a two-session losing streak. Hyundai Motor rose 0.9 percent and its affiliate Kia Corp. jumped 2.9 percent.

Australian markets eked out modest gains as higher ore and energy prices helped lift miners and energy stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3 percent to 7,253.30, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended 0.3 percent higher at 7,442.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX-50 Index gained 0.8 percent to settle at 11,395.35.

U.S. stocks fell sharply overnight on concerns that widespread protests in China against severe pandemic restrictions could exacerbate global supply chain interruptions.

The Dow and the S&P 500 both tumbled around 1.5 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gave up 1.6 percent.

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