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Market Extra: China-focused ETFs jump amid sign the country may be on path toward looser COVID policies

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Shares of exchange-traded funds focused on Chinese stocks were jumping Tuesday afternoon amid investor optimism that China may be moving toward easing its COVID-19 restrictions. 

The KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF
KWEB,
+5.66%

was up 6.3% in Tuesday afternoon trading, while the iShares MSCI China ETF
MCHI,
+4.29%

gained 4.5% and the Invesco China Technology ETF
CQQQ,
+4.87%

rose 5.1%, according to FactSet data, at last check. 

China’s National Health Commission said that it would step up efforts to vaccinate the elderly, in a move toward easing its COVID restrictions, Al Jazeera reported Tuesday. The country has seen recent protests over lockdowns, while investors have worried that China’s strict COVID rules will weigh on economic growth.

Kristalina Georgieva, head of the International Monetary Fund, on Tuesday urged China to recalibrate its strict zero-COVID policy amid concern over its impact on people and the economy, according to the Associated Press. 

See: IMF chief urges targeted COVID policy in China

The KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF has soared almost 38% so far this month based on Tuesday afternoon trading, but the fund remained down more than 27% for the year, FactSet data show, at last check. Other ETFs focused on Chinese stocks have suffered deep losses this year even after soaring in November. 

The iShares MSCI China ETF has tumbled more than 28% in 2022, while the Invesco China Technology ETF has plunged around 37%, according to FactSet data based on Tuesday afternoon trading. 

Read: ‘Just so full of autocracies’: For the Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF, outperformance in 2022 goes beyond nixing China

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
HSI,
+5.24%

rallied 5.2% Tuesday, finishing with its largest daily percentage gain since Nov. 11, according to Dow Jones Market Data. That put the index on track for potentially its largest monthly percentage rise since October 1998, after soaring nearly 24% in November through Tuesday. 

Futures Movers: U.S. oil prices settle higher on hopes China will relax COVID curbs

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