China shares closed up on Thursday after Beijing appointed a veteran regulator as the new securities watchdog head and policymakers took measures to stabilise the sluggish stock markets.

** China’s blue-chip CSI 300 Index was up 0.6% at market close to log a fourth straight session of rebound, while the Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.3%.

** For the week, the CSI300 jumped 5.8% and the Shanghai Index advanced 5%, both booking their biggest weekly gain since November 2022. The markets will be closed for the long Lunar New Year holiday from Friday.

** Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, however, lost 1.3%, dragged by a 6.1% decline in Alibaba Group Holding, after the internet giant missed analysts’ estimates for third-quarter revenue.

** China’s cabinet replaced Yi Huiman as chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) with Wu Qing, a veteran regulator with a reputation for tough action.

** “This unusual move signals more attention to capital market from top leaders,” Jefferies analysts said in a note. “We remain cautious on 1-year horizon, but see rising chance of strong liquidity support for national team’s stock purchase.” ** Authorities have taken a slew of measures to rescue the tumbling market, including asking state investors to buy funds directly to lift the market. Regulators have moved to curb short-selling. ** Most sectors rose following the new appointment, although data showed China’s consumer prices fell at their steepest pace in more than 14 years in January while producer prices also dropped.

** Shares in companies with small-and-micro market capitalisation led the gains, with the CSI 1000 Index and the CSI 2000 Index up 4.1% and 8.8%, respectively. In previous weeks, these stocks were hit most badly during the market downturn.

** Industry-wise, stocks in real estate and defence security jumped more than 5% each to outperform other sectors. Information technology and new energy vehicles jumped 2.4% and 1.9%, respectively.

** In Hong Kong, tech giants slipped 0.7%, dragged by Alibaba, as the company’s plan to buy back $25 billion of its stock failed to drum up investor enthusiasm.

** Biotech firm Wuxi Apptec lost 7.3%, sending their yearly loss to 40%, amid lingering geopolitical concerns caused by a draft U.S. bill.

** Healthcare stocks listed in Hong Kong lost 1.2%.

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