HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares closed at a two-week high on Tuesday, with many Chinese property developers listed in the city climbing on upbeat sales data and outlook, while technology companies advanced on positive cues from the U.S. markets.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 0.3% to 31,093.45, closing above 31,000 for the first time since May 21, after spending much of the morning session in the red. Apple suppliers Sunny Optical Technology Group and AAC Technologies Holdings gained 1.6% and 1.2%, respectively, after the Nasdaq Composite Index closed at a record high on Monday. Tencent Holdings, the most valuable stock listed in Hong Kong, added 1.2%.
China Overseas Land & Investment gained 4.1% and China Resources Land increased 3.4%. Contracted sales of the top 100 property developers in China jumped about 59% in May from a year ago, Bocom International said in a report on Tuesday, citing data from housing research company CRIC.
"Despite the fine-tuning of purchase restrictions, volume remained strong across-the board in the last two weeks of the month, suggesting strong purchasing power from genuine demand," Bocom wrote in its report. "We expect the robust momentum and buyers' sentiment to extend into June, and that developers will tap the window to accelerate new launches."
China Vanke rose 4.1% after reporting 42.88 billion yuan ($6.69 billion) in contracted sales for May. China Jinmao Holdings increased 2.7% and Jingrui Holdings jumped 10.7% after both said their contracted sales more than doubled last month.
Despite the day's advances, some analysts were not convinced the market was ready to break above the ranges in which it traded recently.
"I think we should observe for one or two days to confirm if the Hang Seng Index can really stand" above the 31,000 level, said Kenny Wen, wealth management strategist at Everbright Sun Hung Kai in Hong Kong.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of large mainland companies listed in Hong Kong gained less than 0.1%. In China, the CSI 300 Index of large yuan-denominated shares listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen gained 1%, while the ChiNext Index of small companies in Shenzhen jumped 2.5%. Global investors were net buyers of nearly 4 billion yuan of mainland-listed shares through the electronic trading links connecting Shanghai and Shenzhen with Hong Kong.
The Nikkei Asia300 Index of regional companies outside Japan added 0.4%.
Some health care stocks were among the day's notable decliners in Hong Kong. Genscript Biotech dropped 6.1% and was among the most actively traded stocks on the main board after it announced a top-up placement of shares to certain investors.
3SBio was another heavily traded stock, tumbling 5.6%. CS Sunshine Investment, a substantial shareholder in the company, had placed 149.3 million shares - a 5.9% stake in the company - to other investors, 3SBio said during the midday break on Tuesday. CS Sunshine still owns 18.6% of the company.
"Placements in medical stocks indicate the companies also consider their share prices are at a relatively high level," Everbright Sun Hung Kai's Wen said.
Want Want China Holdings slid 5% after the snack-and-beverage maker reported a 6.6% drop in net profit for the twelve months ended March 31 during Tuesday's midday break.
Truly International, which makes liquid crystal display panels, jumped 12.4%. The company on Monday reported a 6.3% drop in May revenue, a slower rate than the 18.8% decline in the first five months of 2018.
-- Amy Lam