Wall Street stocks rise as China eases Covid restrictions

Wall Street stocks rose on Monday after China loosened some Covid-19 restrictions, soothing markets that have been unsettled by concerns over global central bank rate rises to tackle persistently high inflation.

The S&P 500 added 0.9 per cent at the open, as the market mood brightened following a long grind lower for US equities. The S&P has fallen for eight of the last nine weeks.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 1.6 per cent, boosted by US-listed Chinese tech stocks following a Wall Street Journal report that Beijing would lift a ban on ride-hailing app Didi adding new users. New York listed shares in the group rose more than 50 per cent in early dealings.

Chinese state media on Sunday announced that public transport and restaurant dining would reopen in Beijing, sparking hopes of an end to draconian lockdowns that have slowed the world’s second-largest economy and strained global supply chains. A contraction of China’s services sector also eased in May, a closely watched business activity survey showed on Monday.

“For China to come out of [lockdowns] will make a big difference,” said Neil Birrell, chief investment officer at Premier Miton Investors. “It will also help stimulate global trade.

“But in my view I don’t think we’ve hit the bottom” of the stock market downturn, he added.

The S&P is down almost 14 per cent so far this year while the Nasdaq Composite has dropped 22 per cent, after inflation hit consumer-facing businesses and…

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