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Nikkei Markets

Hong Kong shares rise on revived US-China trade talk hopes

PetroChina and CNOOC higher on improved earnings

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares on Friday headed higher on signs that the U.S. and China are set to resume trade negotiations.

The Hang Seng Index had risen 0.7% to 25,880.82 by noon. Offshore energy producer CNOOC jumped 6.7% after reporting an 18.7% increase in first-half net profit. Revenue for the period rose 3.1% from a year ago. PetroChina climbed 4.8% following a 3.6% increase in net profit and a 6.8% rise in operating income for the first half of the year.

Meanwhile, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China rose 2% after reporting a 4.7% increase in first-half net profit. The three stocks contributed about 74 points to the gauge's 177-point advance.

Hopes that Sino-American trade negotiations will continue helped soothe investor nerves as a new round of punitive tariffs are set to take effect on Sunday. U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said some talks were taking place, and more were scheduled. China's Ministry of Commerce said the two sides were discussing having a round of meetings in September.

Investor worries over the trade war have eased on indications that China is willing to engage in talks in a "calm manner," said Tracy Chan, an analyst at KGI Asia.

The remarks from Washington and Beijing follow a few days of back-and-forth between the two nations, with both sides announcing plans to impose new tariffs on each other's goods. U.S. and Chinese trade officials last met in July in Shanghai, and were expected to meet again in Washington in September, although the meeting has not been confirmed yet.

In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index edged 0.2% higher. Investors await the release of China's official data on manufacturing activity over the weekend.

Railway transportation equipment maker CRRC added 2.7% following a 16.2% increase in net profit for the first six months of 2019. Operating income for the period rose 11.4% from a year ago.

Beigene rose 3% after the drugmaker said its net loss for the January-to-June period narrowed to $253.21 million from $261.48 million a year ago. Total revenue jumped fourfold to $321.18 million.

Ascletis Pharma slid 7.4% after swinging to a loss of 47.2 million yuan ($6.60 million) in the January-to-June period. Revenue fell 34.5% from a year ago. Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding rose 1.4% after reporting a 10.7% increase in profit and a 22% rise in operating revenue for the six months ended in June.

Property developer Sino Land slipped 0.9% after saying its net profit for the full year ended in June halved to 6.91 billion Hong Kong dollars ($880.9 million) from HK$14 billion a year ago. Revenue for the year declined 25.4% to HK$8.01 billion.

Haier Electronics Group jumped 10.2% after reporting an 8.4% increase in first-half net profit even as revenue for the period declined 2.7% year over year.

Liquid crystal display product maker Truly International Holdings climbed 3.1% after forecasting a more than 24-fold increase in net profit for the first half of 2019.

Mining company Jiangxi Copper added 1.6% following a 6.4% increase in first-half net profit.

--Benny Kung

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