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SHANGHAI: China major stock indexes opened lower on Friday, tracking a slump in global equity markets, after China’s top leaders requested its citizens to resolutely stick with the dynamic zero-COVID policy.

The CSI300 index fell 1.7% to 3,943.61 by 0148 GMT, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.4% to 3,024.49.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 2.5 % at 20,277.17 points. China’s yuan weakened sharply in morning trade, with both the onshore spot yuan and its offshore counterpart slipping to their softest levels against the dollar since Nov. 4, 2020.

China will fight any comments and actions that distort, doubt or deny the country’s COVID-19 response policy, state television reported on Thursday, after a meeting of the country’s highest decision-making body.

“Unlike previous similar meeting, the politburo did not mention ‘reconcile zero-COVID strategy (ZCS) with growth’ and maximize the effectiveness of COVID-19 containment measures at the least cost, and minimize the impact of the pandemic on the economy,” said Nomura in a note.

Shanghai stocks end higher as cenbank vows further policy support; Hong Kong falls

“Clearly, the Chinese government will keep its dynamic zero-COVID strategy, if not strengthen, for a while.”

The slump also tracked global stocks that tanked on Thursday as investors worried aggressive central bank policies around the world to tamp down inflation could easily shackle growth.

Stocks fell across the board, with real estate developers, tourism firms, computer-related stocks leading the fall and down more than 3% each.

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