Alibaba Shares Surge as Sales Beats Boost Sentiment

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Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Tech Index gained as much as 4.9%, the most in a week. E-commerce leader Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Group Holding Ltd. and Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU). were among the top gainers, rallying by at least 13% each.

READ: Alibaba’s Sales Beat Eases Fears of Covid’s Economic Fallout 

Both Alibaba and Baidu reported sales growth that were higher than expected, suggesting some of China’s largest businesses have found ways to wade through strict Covid restrictions in key cities. The revenue beats offer a rare but encouraging sign in an economy that’s come to a standstill due to stringent movement controls. 

“We do expect the second quarter to mark the bottom in growth for our companies,” Ronald Keung, head of Asia Internet research at Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS). said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “Depending on the Covid policies and the government’s policies in helping to drive back consumption confidence, we do expect easier comps for China tech companies particularly as you enter into September and December quarter.”

China’s Premier Gives Dire Growth Warning in Unpublished Remarks

Investors are also hoping the more than a yearlong crackdown on private enterprise is approaching an end. Policy makers have been vowing support for the industry as part of their effort to support a slumping economy.    

The Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index of Chinese firms trading in the U.S. jumped 7.6% on Thursday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained as much as 3.3% on Friday while China’s CSI 300 Index climbed as much as 1.5%. 

Still, traders remain wary that fresh virus outbreaks and Beijing’s adherence to a Covid Zero policy may roil further market upside. Any policy support may also be gradual, with Tencent Holdings (OTC:TCEHY) Ltd. executives warning last week that it will take time for Beijing to act on promises to support the sector.  

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