China stocks see $1 tln gain on COVID easing hopes

STORY: China’s strict lockdowns have cast a chill over its economy and markets.

But this week saw rising hopes that the government will soon ease restrictions.

Stocks turned red hot in response.

Equities on the country’s major exchanges added over $1 trillion in value this week.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose over 5% just on Friday (November 4).

It posted its biggest weekly gain in 11 years.

The optimism came after unsubstantiated social media posts claiming that lockdown rules will ease in March.

That saw property and tech shares lead the way higher.

Online giants Alibaba and JD.com both rose more than 10% on Friday.

An index of mainland developers gained 9%.

One analyst said the easing rumours were the trigger to buy in a a market that had been oversold.

Other reports added to the optimism.

Bloomberg said that a Washington inspection of audits at U.S.-listed Chinese firms had finished ahead of time.

That raised hopes officials are satisfied, potentially avoiding a new flashpoint in U.S.-China tensions.

Beijing has made no official comment on lockdown easing, or on the U.S. audit checks.