Hong Kong stocks rebounded from a two-year low amid reports China was considering softening its zero-Covid approach in tackling the pandemic. The Federal Reserve tempered concerns about its policy tightening path. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.6 per cent to 22,467.34 at the close, even as a measure of price swings remained close to a five-month high. The Tech Index declined 1.2 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.1 per cent. Macau casino operators Sands China and Galaxy Entertainment climbed at least 1.6 per cent, after Dow Jones reported that Beijing was looking into methods to very its zero-Covid strategy, following expert views on the situation last month . Hotpot restaurant operator Haidilao rallied 3.8 per cent on the back of a management reshuffle. Buying sentiment improved after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said he favoured a 25 basis-point increase in its key rate this month, versus some market forecasts for a 50-basis point hike. He also signalled more aggressive measures, unless price pressure wanes, after US inflation accelerated at a four-decade high in January. “This lowered concerns of an aggressive rate hike cycle from the Fed and spilled over to Asian equities today,” said Matthew Simpson, an analyst at StoneX in Sydney. Asian economies are less pressured to tighten, boosting sentiment on stocks in the region, he added. How China’s US$12.3 trillion stock market is insulated from Ukraine conflict while Hang Seng hits two-year low Inflation concerns heightened over the past two weeks amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, sending oil prices above US$100 per barrel for the first time since September 2014. Futures surpassed US$110 in recent trading. Hong Kong’s stock market has lost US$215 billion of market value since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the worst performer in Asia in the period. The 64 Hang Seng Index members traded below their book value on average, according to Bloomberg data. HSBC rallied 4.1 per cent and AIA advanced 1.5 per cent. Russian aluminium maker Rusal jumped 5.2 per cent, ending a three-day, 47 per cent crash amid concerns about potential restrictions on its exports after Ukraine invasion. Russia shunned as FTSE Russell, MSCI remove stocks, bonds from indices after market becomes ‘uninvestable’ Chinese tech stocks missed th e rebound, with Tencent Holdings and Meituan falling more than 1 per cent. China’s top banking regulator said more needed to be done despite progress in its efforts to clamp down on bad practices among internet-platform operators. Markets in Asia-Pacific were stronger with benchmarks in South Korea, Australia and Japan climbing by between 0.6 and 1.4 per cent. Meanwhile, Russia is facing further isolation as FTSE Russell and MSCI prepare to remove the nation’s securities from their emerging-market indices. The market became inaccessible after the Moscow Exchange was shut and the central bank blocked fund withdrawals by foreigners.