Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumps 2% as tech stocks rally; China’s December inflation slows

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Chinese markets rose on Wednesday, tracking gains in other Asia-Pacific markets. U.S. markets also rallied overnight as comments from the Fed chief appeared to reassure investors.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led gains in the region, as it jumped 2%. The Hang Seng tech index soared 3.7%, as Tencent was up 3.13%, and Alibaba climbed 4.7%, and Meituan jumped 7.69%. JD soared over 9%.

Mainland Chinese markets also rose, as the Shanghai Composite was up 0.37%, and the Shenzhen component rose 0.61%.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday that rate hikes and tighter policy will be needed to control inflation, but did not announce an accelerated change in policy from what the central bank had already signaled.

Concerns on global economic growth also surfaced as the World Bank Tuesday cut growth forecasts for the U.S., the Euro zone as well as China. It warned that high debt levels, rising income inequality and new coronavirus variants threatened the recovery in developing economies.

Currencies and oil

Oil prices continued to inch up after soaring more than 3% on Tuesday. U.S. crude was up 0.27% to $81.47 per barrel, and Brent crude futures rose marginally to $83.77 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.601, falling from levels above 95.9 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.28 per dollar. The Australian dollar was at $0.7208, up from previous levels of around $0.71.

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