HONG KONG: Hong Kong stocks rebounded slightly on Thursday and snapped a four-day decline following a strong overnight US session. China stocks erased early gains and finished lower despite encouraging economic data.

China’s blue-chip CSI 300 Index dropped 0.73%, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.96%.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.84%, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index gained 1.02%.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3% overnight and Nasdaq 100 advanced 0.8% as investors focused on the bright side for earnings after US January retail sales surged.

Before Thursday’s rebound, Hong Kong’s Heng Seng Index had declined 9% from the peaks of a recent rally on Jan. 27. Analysts said Hong Kong shares could have hit a short-term bottom but may still be volatile going forward.

“The pressure of the first wave of correction in Hong Kong stocks should have been largely released,” said Jun Zhang, head of research at ChinaAMC (HK). “Future capital inflow will depend on whether the fundamentals of listed companies are improving.”

China A-shares lost momentum in the afternoon-session amid market talk and speculation about a China-Iran statement after a visit by Iran’s president and other issues.

China’s President Xi Jinping and his Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi, called on Thursday for the lifting of sanctions on Iran as an integral part of a stalled international agreement on its nuclear programme.

Xi also accepted an invitation from Raisi to visit Iran and would do so at his convenience, the two leaders said in a joint statement.

China’s January air passenger traffic jumped 34.8% from a year earlier, the aviation regulator said at a regular news conference on Thursday..

China’s new home prices rose in January for the first time in a year, up 0.1% month-on-month, official data showed on Thursday.

Telecom stocks advanced 0.78% as investors believe ChatGPT will drive demand for bandwidth. China Telecom surged 8.2% and China United Network Communications up 3.2%, while semiconductor sector declined 2.8%, non-ferrous metal retreated 2.7%.

In Hong Kong, Heng Seng Tech index jumped 1.8%. JD.com soared 5.3 percent.

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