Tencent, NetEase push Hong Kong stocks higher as investors shrug off Fed rate rise concerns

  • The Federal Reserve will hold its first rate-setting meeting of the year tonight
  • Chinese oil producers PetroChina and CNOOC jump as crude price hovers near a seven-year high

Hong Kong stocks led by tech stocks snapped a two-day losing streak, shaking off jitters of a hawkish Federal Reserve. Oil-related stocks rose on geopolitical tensions.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.2 per cent to 24,283.31 at the noon trading break. The Tech Index appreciated 0.7 per cent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1 per cent.

Tencent gained 0.7 per cent, while NetEase jumped 3.1 per cent. JD.com added 1.3 per cent, while Ping An Insurance rose 2.4 per cent.

“Overall, positive factors for the market remain intact, such as policy easing in China. Valuations are also relatively low, thus the slight rebound,” said Mark Po, analyst at China Galaxy International Securities.

“Unless there is a drastic change in policy direction [in China and the US] I expect Hong Kong markets to do better,” he added.

Investors are awaiting clues from the Fed, which will hold its first rate-setting meeting of the year tonight. The Hang Seng Index clawed back this week’s losses of US$96 billion, roiled by a hawkish Fed. It is now on track for about 4 per cent monthly gain, among the top performers across major world indices.

Oil companies gained after crude prices rose over 2 per cent on Tuesday on concerns supplies could become tight because of Ukraine-Russia tensions. PetroChina and CNOOC rose at least 1.4 per cent. Sinopec gained 0.7 per cent.

Oil traded near US$86.55 a barrel, near its seven-year high of US$87, according to Bloomberg data.

In Hong Kong, the city is battling to keep its fifth wave of coronavirus infections under control, with four clusters threatening to overwhelm its zero-Covid strategy.

Two firms started trading for the first time on the mainland. Jinko Solar Company surged 118 per cent, while Caina Technology jumped 43 per cent.

Major Asian markets were mixed. The Japanese benchmark lost 0.1 per cent and Australian stocks fell 2.5 per cent. South Korean equities added 0.3 per cent.

Author: Cheryl Heng, SCMP

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