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HONG KONG: Hong Kong shares rose on Wednesday, tracking a regional rally as fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine subsided, while slowing inflation in China raised hopes of more policy easing in the world’s second-largest economy.

At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 363.19 points, or 1.49%, at 24,718.90. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 1.77% to 8,678.94.

The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking the tech sector rose 2.3%, the financial sector ended 1.4% higher, energy shares rose 1%, and the property sector gained 0.57%.

Chinese internet giants took the lead, with Alibaba Group Holding up 3.46%, Meituan 2.52% higher and Tencent Holdings up 1.32%.

China’s factory-gate inflation eased to its slowest pace in six months and consumer price growth also softened in January, potentially giving the People’s Bank of China room to ease policy to support the slowing economy.

China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.57% at 3,465.83 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.39%.

Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 1.38%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 2.22%.

The yuan was quoted at 6.3367 per U.S. dollar at 0810 GMT, 0.03% firmer than the previous close of 6.3388. The top gainers among H-shares were Kuaishou Technology up 5.52%, followed by Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd, gaining 3.5% and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, up by 3.46%.

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