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China stocks rise on upbeat data, rate hopes


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HONG KONG — China and Hong Kong stocks edged higher on Wednesday after manufactory activity data showed an improvement, with investors remaining hopeful around the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision.

** China’s blue-chip CSI 300 Index was slightly up 0.01%, while the Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.1%.

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** Hang Seng Index advanced 0.27% and Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 0.96%.

** Asia’s stock markets steadied, with signs of a slowdown in U.S. wages bolstering hopes that the Fed could hint at an end to rate hikes at its meeting later in the day.

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** China’s factory activity shrank more slowly in January after Beijing lifted tough COVID curbs late last year.

** The Caixin/S&P Global manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) nudged up to 49.2 in January from 49.0 the previous month but missed expectations in a Reuters poll of 49.5.

** Nomura chief China economist Ting Lu raised China’s 2023 annual GDP growth forecast to 5.3% from 4.8% on Wednesday.

** “The rapid ending of the ‘(COVID) exit wave’ has paved the way for a consumption rebound,” Ting said in a note, but warned that the market’s attention may soon return to some structural and short-term growth barriers.

** The non-ferrous metal sector jumped 3.2%, while semiconductor stocks climbed 1% after a 3% decline on Tuesday as Washington halted licenses for U.S. companies to export to Huawei.

** In Hong Kong, Hang Seng Tech Index gained 1.7%.

** Electric car giant BYD surged 5.7% to hit the new high since August, as the firm expects its 2022 net profit to be more than five times the amount it booked a year earlier. (Reporting by Summer Zhen; editing by Uttaresh.V)


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