Live news updates: Average UK house price rises to record £267,600 even as growth slows

Chinese tech stocks rallied in late-morning trading on Friday, as Asia shares mostly tracked Wall Street higher and investors awaited signs of China’s future economic policy to come from a meeting of the country’s politburo.

The Hang Seng Tech index gained as much as 7 per cent, with ecommerce group Alibaba up 12 per cent. The city’s benchmark Hang Seng index also gained up to 3 per cent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 and South Korea’s Kospi both added as much as 1 per cent. China’s CSI 300, meanwhile, was flat.

The moves followed advances on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 gained 2.5 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed 3.1 per cent higher, as investors looked forward to the after-hours results of Amazon, Intel and Apple.

China’s politburo is expected to meet on Friday amid debate on how to better support the country’s economy as it battles against the highly infectious Omicron coronavirus variant with a series of lockdowns.

On Thursday evening, China’s stock clearing agency said it would halve stock transfer fees at mainland exchanges to promote the “stable and healthy operation of the capital market, stimulate market vitality and enhance support of the real economy” after the country’s benchmark index shed more than 20 per cent this year and financial institutions warned that Beijing’s strict zero-Covid policy was threatening growth.

European futures also pointed to a positive start, with contracts for the FTSE 100 gaining 0.8 per cent and the Euro Stoxx 50 up 1.1 per cent.

Oil prices steadied after strong gains on Thursday, with Brent Crude, the international benchmark, adding 0.2 per cent to $107.85 a barrel and US marker West Texas Intermediate down 0.1 per cent to hit $105.24.

The yield on the US 10-year Treasury note, which underpins global borrowing costs, dropped 0.04 percentage points to 2.82 per cent.

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