Hong Kong stocks fell on Wednesday, despite eased coronavirus restrictions on the mainland, as concerns linger over the economic impact from Beijing's tough zero-COVID policy.
** Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 0.6%, while the Hang Seng Tech Index fell 1.1%.
** China's financial hub Shanghai sprung back to life on Wednesday after two months of bitter isolation under a ruthless COVID-19 lockdown.
** It comes after China's cabinet announced a package of 33 measures covering fiscal, financial, investment and industrial policies on Tuesday to revive its pandemic-ravaged economy.
** "Much has been made of the ending of Shanghai restrictions today, with many seeming to think it offers an instant panacea to an Asian slowdown. Unfortunately, I must add a word of caution here," wrote Jeffrey Halley senior market analyst, Asia Pacific OAND.
** "China's zero-COVID strategy has not suddenly gone away... any returning outbreaks in Beijing or Shanghai or Shenzhen etc, will put China back to square one."
** "The outlook is more challenging in H2 as COVID policies remain broadly restrictive," Peiqian Liu, China economist at NatWest Group wrote on Wednesday, adding that Chinese policymakers will face a policy trilemma: controlling debt, stabilizing growth and maintaining zero-COVID.
** In Hong Kong, most sectors fell, with healthcare and commodity shares leading the decline.
** However, Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco, said there could be an opportunity in Chinese stocks, whose valuations are very attractive. "In addition, I anticipate continued monetary policy accommodation and strong fiscal stimulus." (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)