China, HK stocks rebound sharply on unverified social media posts over COVID easing

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A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman later said he was unaware of the situation.

The Hang Seng Index jumped more than 5%, while the Hang Seng Tech Index gained nearly 8%.

China’s benchmark CSI300 Index rose 3.4%. The Shanghai Composite Index was up 2.6%.

An unverified note trending in social media, and tweeted by influential economist Hao Hong, said a “Reopening Committee” has been formed by Politburo Standing Member Wang Huning, and is reviewing overseas COVID data to assess various reopening scenarios, aiming to relax COVID rules in March, 2023.

“I don’t know where you got this information. I truly don’t know anything about this,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said when asked about such a committee.

The rebound also comes after signs that Chinese bargain hunters piled into battered Hong Kong stocks last month as foreign investors dumped China assets in the aftermath of the Communist Party Congress.

Linus Yip, chief strategist at First Shanghai Group, said the unconfirmed rumour triggered the rally.

“The market has fallen so much, and has a willingness to rebound,” said Yip.