HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares headed for their first gain in four days following an overnight rebound on Wall Street after the U.S. government said it will delay imposing tariffs on some Chinese imports.
The Hang Seng Index was up 0.5% to 25,416.63 by noon after rising as high as 25,717.98 earlier. Internet services heavyweight Tencent Holdings rose 2.2% ahead of its second-quarter earnings release later Wednesday. Sunny Optical Technology Group jumped 12.2% after reporting a 21.3% jump in net profit for the first half and a 30% increase in revenue.
Equity indexes on Wall Street advanced overnight following two days of losses. The U.S. Trade Representative office on Tuesday said new tariffs on certain consumer items from China, such has cellphones and laptops, will be delayed to Dec. 15. President Donald Trump had earlier this month announced plans to impose 10% import tariffs on Chinese goods worth $300 billion at the beginning of September.
"The news came as a surprise," said Andrew Wong, chairman and chief executive at Anli Securities. "However, the market has other worries," such as the fallout from protests in Hong Kong and weak Chinese economic data.
Wong said with the Hang Seng Index still about 1,000 points away from last year's low, people are worried that there is room for more downside.
"For the Hang Seng Index to climb, social issues will need to be resolved," he said, adding that disruption at the Hong Kong airport had touched some international investors' nerves.
Hong Kong's international airport has resumed operations after some services were disrupted over the previous two days amid ongoing protests at its main terminal building.
Airport Authority Hong Kong on Wednesday said it had obtained a court order to stop protesters from blocking outbound passengers. The order forbids anyone from "attending or participating in any demonstration or protest or public order even in the airport other than in the area designated by the Airport Authority," the statement said.
In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.8%, while the yuan rose 0.3% against the dollar to 7.0209. Data released on Wednesday showed China's industrial output grew 4.8% in July, slowing from June's 6.3% growth, and below the 5.8% reading analysts polled by Reuters were expecting.
Cathay Pacific Airways was up 3.1% amid broad market gains after shedding 8.2% in a four-day losing streak amid worries over flight cancellations and Beijing's restrictions on the airline's crew, some of whom had participated or supported protests in Hong Kong.
Sports apparel and equipment maker Li Ning jumped 10.8% after reporting a near-tripling of its profit for the first half of the year, helped by a 33% jump in revenue.
Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor Group advanced 1.6% after reporting an 18.8% increase in July sales.
Auto parts maker Nexteer Automotive Group slid 12.7% after reporting a 34.3% plunge in first-half net profit and a 10.5% decrease in revenue.
-- Benny Kung