By Clarence Leong
Shares of many consumer- and travel-related stocks rose sharply after news that China will ease some of the restrictions to curb Covid-19 infections that have weighed on the world’s second-largest economy for more than two years.
The Chinese government said Tuesday it will shorten the quarantine time for international travelers and those who have come into close contact with Covid-19 patients to 10 days from 21 days. Beijing will also loosen its testing requirements for people in quarantine.
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203532437/delayed HK:293 +0.83% rose 5.9% to HK$8.56, on track to close at its highest level since March 2020, when the pandemic swept across the world. The stock has gained 34% this year.
China’s three major airlines, Air China Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203341301/delayed CN:601111 -1.60% , China Eastern Airlines Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208816122/delayed CN:600115 -1.64% and China Southern Airlines Co. /zigman2/quotes/210515916/delayed CN:600029 -1.42% advanced between 5.8% to 9.4% in Hong Kong.
Travel-booking company Trip.com Group Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/210510831/composite TCOM +0.61% /zigman2/quotes/226007284/delayed HK:9961 +1.17% surged 22% to HK$240.80, on course for its biggest one-day gain in more than three months. Shanghai-listed China Tourism Group Duty Free Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201225862/delayed CN:601888 -0.47% was up 3.1%.
Restaurant stocks also strengthened. Hot-pot chain operator Haidilao International Holding Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/205453154/delayed HK:6862 +7.99% jumped 9.2% to HK$19.18 and Yum China Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208495167/composite YUMC +0.17% /zigman2/quotes/220352183/delayed HK:9987 -0.84% added 3.5%.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.67% turned positive in afternoon trading and was last 1.0% higher at 22447.10.
Write to Clarence Leong at firstname.lastname@example.org