Hang Seng gains 3.5% over reports of Hong Kong relaxing Covid restrictions

The Asian stocks were mostly giving a mixed picture on Thursday but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up by 3.50 percent (658.46 points) after media reports suggested that the city was considering further easing the Covid restrictions.

Similarly, the Hang Seng Tech index added around 6 percent — bucking the trend in the wider Asia-Pacific region, which were weighed down by continued recession fears.

However, the Shenzhen Component in Mainland China dipped 0.25 percent to close at 11,389.79 while the Shanghai Composite was about flat at 3,197.35.

In Australia, S&P/ASX200 shed 53.90 points (0.75 percent) and closed at 7,175.50 while Tokyo’s Nikkei was down 111.97 points (0.4 percent) – near one-month low – and Seoul’s Kospi 11.73 points (0.49 percent).

Meanwhile, Nifty in India and Singapore’s STI had gained 24.85 points (0.13 percent) and 19.41 points (0.6 percent) respectively.

The gains in Chinese shares came after some investors booked profits on Wednesday after the government announced sweeping changes to ease a tough anti-COVID policy that has battered the world’s second-largest economy.

The market generally struggled for direction as traders digested data showing that US worker productivity rebounded at a slightly faster pace than initially thought in the third quarter, but the trend remained weak, keeping labour costs elevated.

Earlier on Wednesday, the stocks at Wall Street continued their losing streak with the S&P 500 falling for fifth session amid the possibility of recession and the Fed going for more interest rate hikes.

The S&P 500 was down 0.19 percent to end the session at 3,933.92. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was mostly flat with a meagre gain of 1.58 points and closed at 33,597.92. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.51 percent to end at 10,958.55.

During the current week, the Dow is down 2.42 percent while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are off by 3.38 percent and 4.39 percent respectively.

By the time trading was closed, the S&P 500 shed 1.44 percent to close at 3,941.26 and the Nasdaq Composite sank 2 percent to finish at 11,014.89. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 350.76 points, or 1.03%, to settle at 33,596.34.

Earlier on Tuesday, the S&P 500 shed 1.44 percent to close at 3,941.26 and the Nasdaq Composite sank 2 percent to finish at 11,014.89. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 350.76 points, or 1.03 percent, to settle at 33,596.34.

Meanwhile, bond yields also fell on Wednesday, with the rate on the 10 years Treasury note at one point touching a low of 3.402 percent.

Stocks wavered between gains and losses in choppy trading, with the S&P rising as much as 0.41%. At its lows, the benchmark index fell 0.47%.

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