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BEIJING: China's equities rebounded on Thursday, led by consumer staples and information technology stocks, as sentiment was lifted by government pledges to focus on a consumption recovery and reduce certain income tax rates.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.82% at 3,626.58 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was up 1.03%.

** China's commerce ministry on Wednesday vowed to focus on the continued recovery of consumption in 2022, and attract more foreign investments.

** The country also said it would extend some favourable income tax policies to ease the burden for middle- and low-income groups, state media reported, quoting a cabinet meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

** The measure is expected to cut taxes by 110 billion yuan ($17.27 billion) a year.

** Consumer staples gained 0.9%, with liquor makers rebounding 1.33% from losses in the previous session.

** Season-wise, analysts expect liquor, food and beverage sales to gain momentum during the upcoming new year and Chinese Spring Festival holidays, benefiting related sectors.

** Among other gaining sectors, the information and technology sector was up 2%, the media subindex surged nearly 5% and semiconductor shares added 2.8%.

** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.13% to 8,109.6, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.21% at 23,134.88.

** The Hang Seng inched up as tech giants rebounded, with the Hang Seng Tech Index up 0.2%. Heavyweights Tencent and Meituan went up 0.6% and 0.9%, respectively.

** Hong Kong shares of SenseTime Group, the Chinese artificial intelligence start-up, jumped as much as 23% from its market debut in Hong Kong on Thursday.

** But mainland developers listed in Hong Kong lost 0.7% on Thursday, with Evergrande Group tumbling 8.5% after the embattled real estate developer did not pay offshore coupons due earlier this week.

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