HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares headed higher on Monday, tracking gains on Wall Street amid expectations for economic stimulus from global central banks and indications from the U.S. that Sino-American trade talks were progressing.
The Hang Seng Index had added 1.9% to 26,216.23 by noon on Monday, following its fourth consecutive weekly decline on Friday. Financial heavyweights AIA Group and HSBC Holdings rose 2.6% each, while internet services company Tencent Holdings added 1.8%.
On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index rose 1.2% and 1.4%, respectively, while U.S. Treasury yields climbed amid rising expectations for economic stimulus in Europe. Markets were also expecting the U.S. Federal Reserve to deliver another interest rate cut when it reviews policy in September. Worries over a global economic downturn amid a bruising trade war have prompted global central banks to signal plans to support monetary policies.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday said Washington and Beijing were talking on trade, but added that he was not ready to sign a deal. The comments came after White House economic director Larry Kudlow said that recent phone calls between U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators had been positive.
"I'm inclined to think investors are still engaged in short-term speculation. Since the Hang Seng Index has dropped so much recently, they are betting on a short-term rebound," said Kenny Wen, wealth-management strategist at Everbright Sun Hung Kai. "The macro outlook remains unclear."
The Hang Seng Index has shed 5.6% so far in August as worries over a slowdown in growth and political unrest in the city weighed on sentiment.
In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.5% by midday, while the yuan slipped 0.1% against the dollar to 7.0447.
Cathay Pacific Airways added 0.8%. The airline late Friday said it had accepted resignations from Chief Executive Rupert Hogg and Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Paul Loo, and named replacements for the two executives. The resignations follow the Civil Aviation Administration of China's risk safety alert against the Hong Kong carrier, after some of its employees were found to have participated or supported mass protests in Hong Kong.
China Taiping Insurance Holdings rose 3.1% after reporting an 11.3% increase in gross premium income from its life insurance business for the January-to-July period.
Beijing Capital Land advanced 5.5% after reporting a 61% increase in net profit for the first half of the year. Revenue for the period rose 47% to 10.5 billion yuan ($1.49 billion).
China Aoyuan Group jumped 7.6% after saying its profit for the January-to-June period nearly doubled from a year ago.
Electronic products maker Tianli Holdings Group slumped 20.6% after saying it expects to have swung to a loss in the first half of 2019, compared with a year-earlier profit.
Medical products company United Laboratories International Holdings added 2.8% after saying it expects net profit for the first half of the year to have more than tripled from a year ago to about 280 million yuan.
China Medical System Holdings jumped 12.9%. The company on Friday said it entered a licensing agreement with India's Sun Pharmaceutical Industries to develop and commercialize seven generic products in the mainland for an initial term of 20 years.
-- Benny Kung