Chinese stocks surge as investors cheer new COVID-19 control measures

Chinese stocks surged on Friday as investors took heart from the double whammy of Beijing's optimized COVID-19 control measures and lower U.S. inflation data.

The Hang Seng Index closed up 7.74 percent while the exchange's China Enterprises Index, which lists major Chinese mainland companies, closed even higher, up 8.31 percent.

Shanghai Composite index rose 1.69 percent, the Shenzhen Component Index climbed 2.12 percent and the ChiNext Index jumped 2.04 percent.

China's National Health Commission on Friday announced to further optimize COVID-19 prevention and control, such as shortening quarantine times by two days for close contacts with infected people and canceling the circuit breaker measures for inbound international flights.

The onshore yuan rallied more than 1 percent following the news, while the offshore yuan touched a high of 7.0592 per dollar, its strongest in over a month.

Oil prices jumped more than 2 percent on Friday as traders applauded the news. Oil prices also picked up following the milder-than-expected U.S. inflation data which reinforced hopes that the Federal Reserve would slow down rate increases.

(With input from Reuters, AFP, cover via CFP)

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