HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares headed higher on Monday, paced by a rebound for local property developers after steep losses last week, even as protests in the city intensified.
The Hang Seng Index added 1.1% to 26,618.77 by noon. Heavyweights Tencent Holdings and AIA Group rose 2.5% and 2.1%, respectively. Local developer Wharf Real Estate Investment Company added 2.7% after shedding 9.6% last week. Sun Hung Kai Properties was up 1.7% following an 11% slump last week.
Anti-government protests in Hong Kong showed no signs of easing over the weekend, with clashes at Hong Kong Polytechnic University spilling into the early hours of Monday. Hong Kong schools were suspended on Monday after being closed on Thursday and Friday. The Hang Seng Index slid 4.8% last week as demonstrations turned increasingly violent following the death of a protester and the shooting of an activist.
With local property stocks rebounding "it seems like people think the worst has happened, especially over the last two days," said Andy Wong, fund manager and chief investment strategist at LW A.M. "But property stocks still face structural earnings growth issues, so this is mostly a rebound on cheap valuations."
Meanwhile, optimism over Sino-American trade relations helped regional sentiment. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow last week indicated an agreement was close to being reached. China's Commerce Ministry said Vice Premier Liu He had "constructive" talks on Saturday over a phone call with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.6% by midday on Monday. The yuan traded onshore slipped less than 0.1% to 7.0111.
Sofa maker Man Wah Holdings jumped 9.5% after reporting a 6.1% increase in net profit for the six months ended Sept. 30 and a 1.9% advance in revenue.
Sparkle Roll Group climbed 10.2% after the distributor of luxury cars and watches said it expects to report a significantly higher profit for the six months ended Sept. 30 from a year ago.
Sinomax Group surged 10.1% after the health and household products maker company said its unit was selling a 51% interest in its polyurethane foam business for 157 million yuan ($22.4 million). The company said it will record a gain of about 33.3 million Hong Kong dollars ($4.3 million) from the sale.
Freeman Fintech fell 2.2% after saying it expects to report a loss for the six months ended Sept. 30.
-- Benny Kung