China stocks rise as half of Shanghai achieves 'zero-Covid' status

Shanghai said on Wednesday (May 11) half the city had achieved 'zero-Covid' status, but uncompromising restrictions had to remain in place under a national policy. (Photo by Bloomberg)

Shanghai said on Wednesday (May 11) half the city had achieved 'zero-Covid' status, but uncompromising restrictions had to remain in place under a national policy. (Photo by Bloomberg)

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SHANGHAI (May 11): China stocks rose on Wednesday (May 11) as investors took comfort in signs of lower domestic Covid-19 infections, while US President Joe Biden's decision to consider eliminating Trump-era tariffs on Beijing further listed risk appetite.

The CSI 300 Index was up 2% at 4,000.00 points by the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.6% to 3,085.43 points.

The Hang Seng Index added 1.7% to 19,971.18 points. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 2.4% to 6,818.91.

Shanghai said on Wednesday half the city had achieved "zero-Covid" status, but uncompromising restrictions had to remain in place under a national policy. Meanwhile, new infections detected in Beijing dropped to the lowest level since April 26.

The head of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday China's zero-tolerance Covid-19 policy is not sustainable given what is now known of the virus. 

"Over the past week, the Covid-19 situation has continued to improve at the national level," said Nomura in a note. "However, the turning point for economic fundamentals and most financial assets in coming weeks (or months) depends mainly on Beijing's stance on zero-Covid strategy instead of daily cases."

Lifting market sentiment further, China's producer prices rose at the slowest pace in a year in April despite a surge in global commodity costs, leaving room for more stimulus to shore up the flagging economy. 

Risks affecting China's onshore market are controllable, and the market has solid foundation for stable operation, the official CCTV reported on Tuesday, citing a securities regulatory official.

Biden, under pressure to tame high inflation, said he is considering eliminating Trump-era tariffs on China as a way to lower prices for goods in the US. 

China equities could be approaching the late stage of a bear market, but the potential final leg is likely to be bumpy, Morgan Stanley strategists said in a note.

The bank expects near-term market volatility to remain elevated, citing China's Covid-19 situation, geopolitical tensions, global macro slowdown and monetary tightening.

Semiconductors and new energy firms jumped more than 5% each to lead the gains, while shares in healthcare, tourism and machinery went up between 3.5% and 4.4%.

Tech giants listed in Hong Kong climbed 4.6% to lift the Hang Seng benchmark, with index heavyweights Meituan and Tencent up 8.2% and 4.4% respectively.