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China, Hong Kong shares rise as metal and rare earth firms shine

* SSEC +1.2%, CSI300 +1.5%, HIS +0.4%

* China reports zero locally transmitted infections for a second day

* Non-ferrous metal and rare earth stocks lead gains

China and Hong Kong shares rose on Tuesday, extending gains from the previous session, as metal and rare earth stocks shined on signs that a resurgence of locally transmitted COVID-19 infections has been contained.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was up 1.22% at 3,575.66 points. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was up 1.45%, with its consumer staples sector up 1.51% and the healthcare sub-index up 1.4%.

** Leading the gains, the non-ferrous metal sub-index gained 4.5%, while the rare earth sector sub-index surged 4.4%.

** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.29% to 11,593.48, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.39% at 29,432.92. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 1.86%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 1.58% and Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index was up 1.97%. ** China reported 14 new COVID-19 cases on the mainland on Feb. 8, official data showed on Tuesday, unchanged from a day earlier and the second day of no locally transmitted infections. ** Shares in China’s digital currency-related stocks rose, underpinned by gains for cryptocurrencies. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.42% while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.11%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.4487 per U.S. dollar, 0% firmer than the previous close of 6.4488.

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