Stock markets gained while the U.S. dollar softened on Tuesday after China said it would drop its quarantine requirements for inbound visitors, further easing three-year border controls aimed at curbing COVID-19.
China will stop requiring inbound travellers to go into quarantine starting from Jan. 8, the National Health Commission said on Monday. It will also downgrade the seriousness of COVID-19 as it has become less virulent and will gradually evolve into a common respiratory infection.
By Tuesday early afternoon in Hong Kong, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) was up 0.5%. China’s bluechip added 1.1%.
Japan’s Nikkei share average (.N225) was up 0.3% by lunchtime, having given up some early gains that had taken the index to its highest in a week, helped by retailers’ hopes for a return of big-spending Chinese tourists, as Takashimaya (8233.T) boosted its profit outlook.
U.S. stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis , inched up 0.6%, indicating the market is set to rise as traders return to their terminals on Tuesday after the Christmas holiday.
Markets in some regions including Hong Kong and Australia remain shut on Tuesday.
Chaoping Zhu, a global market strategist and JPMorgan Asset Management, said the latest policy move from China indicated economic activity in most major cities may return to normal very quickly, which is very positive for investors.