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Hong Kong stocks jump, reversing direction after report government to ban face masks

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[HONG KONG] The Hong Kong stock market jumped to one week high on Thursday after local media reported that the government could outlaw face masks to help quell four months-long protests gripping the city.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index, down for much of the day along with other Asian markets, rose over 300 points just after 0600 GMT and reversed all losses on the day in mid-afternoon trade.

A broker said the jump was due to news of a potential mask ban. The Hang Seng was up as much as 0.6 per cent and at its highest level since September 24. MSCI's Asia ex-Japan index was last seen down 0.5 per cent.

Local broadcasters TVB and Cable TV said the Hong Kong government was set to ban face masks at public rallies in a bid to ease months of unrest.

REUTERS

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