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SHANGHAI, March 17 (Reuters)Chinese stocks rose On Thursday, extending a jump from the previous session after the country’s top policymaker provided stability and support for markets, wiand hope for a breakthrough in ceasefire talks between Russia and Ukraine as well booster feeling.

The CSI300 index .CSI300 rose 3.2%, to 4,288.68 points in late morning trading, while the Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC gained 2.6%, to 3,252.96.

The Hang Seng Index .HSI added 5.8%, to 21,250.97. The Hong Kong Chinese Enterprise Index .HSCE gained 6.3%, to 7,321.86.

The indices had jumped on Wednesday after Vice Premier Liu He said Beijing would deploy more support for the Chinese economy and be cautious with measures for capital markets, which helped put a floor under sectors hit by a prolonged regulatory crackdown.[nL2N2VJ0Y6]

Liu’s comments were followed by messages of support from the five major financial regulators of the day, including the People’s Bank of China, the China Securities Regulatory Commission and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

“With China’s top leadership focused on managing expectations, the line in the sand has been drawn. This could help markets find near-term bottoms,” said Tommy Xie, vice president and head of Greater China Research at OCBC. Note to clients, the addition of a key rate cut could occur before the end of March.

“Furthermore, attractive valuations could also attract long-term investors if geopolitical risks do not worsen further,” he said.

JFavorable comments also sparked seven consecutive sessions of releases through China’s Stock Connect program on Wednesday. Refinitiv data showed inflows totaled 3.5 billion yuan ($550 million) as of Thursday’s lunch break. .NQUOTA.SH, .NQUOTA.ZK

Liu also said the government will continue to support local businesses seeking to register overseas and added that China talks with US regulators on overseas listings Chinese companies have made positive progress.

Technology companies listed in Hong Kong .HSTECH rose more than 7% on Thursday, after a record rise of 22% on Wednesday.

Internet giants and Alibaba Group index heavyweights 9988.HK and Meituan 3690.HKboth gained more than 10%, while video platform provider Bilibili Inc 9626.HK and search engine giant Baidu Inc. 9888.HK jumped more than 15% each.

However, to cope with the slowing economy and China’s sweeping regulatory crackdown, Alibaba 9988.HK and Tencent Holdings 0700.HK are preparing to cut tens of thousands of combined jobs this year in one of their biggest rounds of layoffs, sources said.

Mainland promoters trade in Hong Kong .HSMPI soared about 15%, after the official Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday night that China was putting a trial land tax project this year on ice, citing the Ministry of Finance.

The move helped ease concerns about a tightening of measures in the wade real estate sector, which slumped for months as Beijing’s campaign to reduce high debt levels sparked a liquidity crunch among some major property developers which scared off potential buyers.

Sunac China Holdings 1918.HK led the jump with a almost 50% gain, while Country Garden Holdings 2007.HKfirst Chinese real estate developer by sale, and the Evergrande group, in debt 3333.HK added mmore than 20 each.

Evolution of the talks between Moscow and Kyiv also boosted investor confidence. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the negotiations were becoming “more realistic”, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the proposals being discussed were “in my opinion close to an agreement”.

Markets welcomed the widely expected rate hike by the US Federal Reserve, despite concerns about weakening global growth . The Hong Kong Monetary Authority followed suit with a 25 basis point increase, with the city’s currency pegged to the US dollar.

OWhile China’s official economic data for January and February was surprisingly upbeat, analysts say more policy support is still needed, with rising COVID-19 cases, a weak property market and the global fallout from the war in Ukraine darkens the outlook.

Mainland China reported 1,317 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on March 16, the national health authority said Thursday, down slightly from 1,952 a day earlier.

The spike in COVID-19 cases and China’s zero-Covid policy indicate “significant downside risk to macroeconomic and corporate earnings,” Morgan Stanley said in a note, adding that it would like to see improvement in this subject for “a greater conviction on sustainable development”. rally.”

(Reporting by Jason Xue and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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