HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares headed higher on Friday but continued to hover near four-month lows, as investors remained cautious over Sino-American trade tensions.
The Hang Seng Index was up 0.2% to 27,323.09 by noon after closing at its lowest level since January on Thursday. China Mobile rose 1.4%, while Ping An Insurance Group added 1.1%. The two stocks together were responsible for more than half of the index's gains by points.
Sino Biopharmaceutical rose 0.4% after the Chinese drugmaker said tenofovir disoproxil fumarate tablet, an anti-HIV drug developed by its unit, received marketing authorization issued by the European Union. Offshore oil producer CNOOC fell 0.9%, while PetroChina declined 1.3% after Brent crude prices slid 4.6% overnight amid trade tensions.
The Hang Seng Index has shed 2.2% so far this week, driven by losses for technology companies after the U.S. ratcheted up pressure on China when it added Huawei Technologies to a list of entities that would need government approval to buy components and technology from American companies.
Sunny Optical Technology Group rose 0.6% after falling in five of the last six trading days amid worries that U.S. restrictions on its customer Huawei will weigh on the smartphone components supplier's sales. AAC Technologies Holdings, which also supplies parts to Huawei, added 1.7%. It is down 2.6% for the week so far.
The last round of trade talks between the world's largest economies took place earlier this month just as the U.S. raised tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods and Beijing announced a planned retaliation. U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said Huawei could be part of a trade deal between the two countries. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet at a G-20 summit in Japan next month.
"This conflict is unlikely to be resolved in the near-term, so the rebound should be short-lived," said Linus Yip, chief strategist at First Shanghai Securities. "If there is no progress in trade talks, market sentiment will still tend to be cautious. The Hang Seng Index will have a downward bias in the short term."
Meanwhile in China, the Shanghai Composite Index was little changed, while the yuan traded onshore edged 0.04% lower against the dollar to 6.9117.
Chinese online services platform Meituan Dianping rose 2.7% in Hong Kong after reporting a narrower first-quarter loss and a 70% jump in revenue.
Boyaa Interactive International fell 4.2% following a 51.1% plunge in the online card-and-board game maker's first-quarter net profit.
Parenting website operator BabyTree Group added 1% after slipping as much as 3.6%. The company on Thursday said it expects to swing to a loss for the six months ending in June from a profit a year ago.
China Energy Engineering fell 2.2% even as the state-owned energy infrastructure builder said its unit received an engineering, procurement and construction contract for a hydropower project in Indonesia worth $1.5 billion.
-- Amy Lam