HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares strode higher for a third day on bets half-yearly results will help support equity valuations after a recent rally.
The Hang Seng Index added 0.5% to 27,667.39 by noon. Apple-supplier AAC Technologies Holdings jumped 6.7%, the most in two weeks, after the iPhone maker reported better-than-expected profit and revenue, boosting its shares more than 6% in after-hours U.S. trading on Tuesday. The acoustic-components maker is due to report first-half results on Aug. 24. Local heavyweight Tencent Holdings rose 0.5%.
The Hang Seng Index has jumped almost 26% so far in 2017, with earnings expectations adding to its appeal amid fund inflows from China and optimism that the U.S. Federal Reserve will stick to a gradual pace of monetary tightening.
"People are very positive on the upcoming first-half earnings among major shares, especially Chinese financials, including insurers and banks," said Steven Leung, executive director at UOB-Kay Hian in Hong Kong. "The price-to-earnings ratio is of course not as attractive as six months ago, but the level itself is around 13 to 14 times for the Hang Seng Index. That is not too expensive, especially because we're expecting good earnings for major companies."
In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite added less than 0.1%, while the Shenzhen Composite Index slipped 0.2%. The yuan weakened 0.1% to 6.7261 against the dollar.
Liquid-crystal display maker TCL slid 1.3% in Shenzhen, poised for its first loss in four days. Late Tuesday, the Chinese company reported a more than 70% increase in first-half profit to 1 billion yuan ($149 million).
Meanwhile, a Chinese court backed China Construction Bank's (CCB) request to freeze 250 million yuan in assets belonging to technology conglomerate LeEco's listed arm, Leshi Internet Information & Technology's assets, Caixin Global reported, citing a ruling released on Tuesday. Trading in Leshi's shares remains suspended. CCB was up 0.6%, heading for a third day higher.
Huaneng Power International tumbled 4.9% after saying first-half net profit plunged 96% due to a rise in coal costs.
Casino operator SJM Holdings tumbled 7% after reporting a 12.9% drop in first-half profit. Rivals Sands China and Wynn Macau shed at least 0.7% by noon.
Wharf Holdings, the property investment unit of diversified conglomerate Wheelock, jumped 5.5%, pacing advances by a measure of real estate companies in Hong Kong. Wheelock added 2.5%. The company expects to soon start selling flats at a residential project in Hong Kong's Kai Tak area, the Standard newspaper reported.
China Shenhua Energy added 2.3% to HK$20. Nomura raised its price target to HK$23.31, writing in a report issued Wednesday that the coal miner was "still an undervalued cash cow."
Electronic-components maker Man Yue Technology jumped 7% after forecasting a profit for the first-half of 2017, compared with a loss in the year-ago period.
Rivera Holdings added 1.7% after the investment trader said it expects its consolidated profit for the first half to rise about 140%.
Department-store operator Wing On Company International climbed 2.7% after forecasting a 180% increase in first-half profit.
-- Suzannah Benjamin and V. Phani Kumar