Live news: Chinese stocks push higher as Beijing underlines growth focus

China’s government, central bank and regulators have pledged support to stimulate the economy as the country seeks to transition from nearly three years of growth-constraining pandemic controls.

While China is still battling a widespread coronavirus outbreak sparked by a loosening of its zero-Covid regime, economic policymakers in Beijing have begun to look beyond the immediate health crisis and focus on stabilizing the country’s battered economy.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, said that it would implement measures announced at the Central Economic Work Conference, which included stepping up fiscal policy and support for the property, electric vehicles and tech sectors.

The People’s Bank of China also pledged to stimulate consumption and construction, while the China Securities Regulatory Commission said it would support the development of the country’s property sector, a once crucial engine of growth that has been struggling with a liquidity crisis and wave of defaults.

The announcements followed the Central Economic Work Conference, an annual agenda-setting meeting in which officials sought to inspire confidence by praising the importance of the private sector.

The securities regulator also vowed to carry out regular co-operation on China-US audit oversight to build a “more stable and predictable international regulatory co-operation environment.”

The promise comes after a recent breakthrough in cross-border audits of US-listed Chinese firms after a more than decade-long stand-off.

Last week, the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board audit regulator said it had been allowed to inspect the work of auditors in China for the first time, easing the threat that about 200 Chinese companies could be thrown off US stock markets in the near term. The CSRC welcomed the decision.

Chinese equities rose on Thursday, with the Hang Seng China Enterprises index up 3 per cent and the CSI 300 gaining 0.8 per cent.

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