Title: Asia markets rise on hopes of easing China tech crackdown
May 17, 2022 01:46AM ET
Asian stocks advanced Tuesday, led by a jump in major technology companies as hopes grew for an easing of unprecedented regulatory measures against China's once freewheeling tech sector.
Market sentiment was also boosted by Shanghai reaching the long-awaited milestone of three consecutive days without new COVID-19 cases outside quarantine zones, which could lead to the restrictions beginning to be lifted.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.5% Tuesday, but is still down 6.4% for the month so far. U.S. stocks ended the previous session with slight losses.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei was up 0.33% in afternoon trading, while the S&P/ASX200 index in Australia was up 0.25%.
Mainland China's CSI300 index was up 0.95%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was 2.35% higher as tech companies listed in the city surged more than 4% on hopes of an easing of Beijing-imposed punitive measures against the sector.
People familiar with the matter told Reuters that Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong will speak on Tuesday at a meeting with tech industry executives convened by the country's top policy advisory body to promote the development of the digital economy.
The meeting, which is currently underway, is being closely watched for clues about how far Chinese authorities will go to ease strict regulation of the previously high-flying tech sector, which has been in place since late 2020, because of the remarks by Liu and others.
However, after weak retail sales and factory output figures in China and disappointing manufacturing data in the U.S., renewed concerns have arisen about economic growth in the world's two largest economies.
Investors are also weighing the global inflationary impact of closures in China to combat the coronavirus that has halted factory production in several regions of the country.
In afternoon Asian trading, the yield on 10-year government bonds rose to 2.9203%, compared with the U.S. close of 2.879% on Monday.