Asian shares advance on back of Wall Street gains

SHARES rose in Asia on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022, after an advance on Wall Street led by the latest rally in technology companies.

Chinese benchmarks rose on reports the government is planning new measures to support the ailing property sector, which has dragged on growth over the past several years.

The relaxation of some of the country’s “zero-Covid” rules is also boosting hopes for the economy will gain momentum, though experts say it will take months for tourism and other business to recover from the disruptions of the pandemic.

“Asian stocks are a bit higher, but full-out exuberance has been tempered by rising Covid cases and skepticism of the force of reopening economic tailwind that the current level of Asian risk assets implies,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a commentary.

While outside experts had increasingly criticized China’s containment policy, which sought to isolate every case, as unsustainable, they have also warned that the country will now face a challenging first wave, as the loosened measures will no doubt fuel an increase of cases.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.9 percent to 19,810.42. The Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.3 percent to 3,205.62.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index gained 1.2 percent to 27,901.01 and the Kospi in Seoul rose 0.8 percent to 2,389.04. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 picked up 0.5 percent to 7,213.20. (AP)