Beijing City Government to Further Cut COVID-19 Emergency Response Level

Beijing’s municipal government said on Friday it will lower its COVID-19 emergency response from level II to level III effective from Saturday, state media reported.

The change removes quarantine requirements for people from Hubei province, the virus’s original epicentre. Beijing has no confirmed local COVID-19 cases over the past 50 days, according to its Municipal Health Commission, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the Chinese stock market climbed on Friday, wrapping up its best week in two months, as investors bet on Beijing to deliver more help for the economy as it recovers from the coronavirus outbreak and faces fresh tensions with the United States, Economic Times informed.

The Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.4 per cent at 2,930.80. The blue-chip CSI300 index gained 0.5 per cent. CSI300’s financial sector sub-index rose 0.2 per cent, the consumer staples sector climbed 0.4 per cent, while the real estate index fell 0.9 per cent. The smaller Shenzhen index gained 0.2 per cent. The start-up board ChiNext Composite index was up 0.7 per cent.

The CSI300 rose 3.5 per cent from last week and the Shanghai Composite gained 2.8 per cent in their best week since early March, owing largely to gains earlier in the week on expectations of fresh policy support from the Chinese government.

Aggregate year-to-date net purchases by foreign investors using the Stock Connect link hit a new high at $12 billion on Thursday, according to a BNP Paribas report. Those investors were also net buyers on Friday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that Nasdaq’s recent decision to tighten listing rules for China-based companies should be “a model” for all other exchanges around the world. If “policy (support) continues to move forward, then it will help market confidence to rise,” analysts at Dongguan Securities said in a note.

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