Hong Kong shares produced their best day in more than two weeks on Tuesday, outperforming Asian peers with local property developers, Chinese insurers and railway sectors strong on anticipation of more policy support.
But with profit warnings emerging daily during the past week ahead of the interim earnings reporting season in August, the advances appears to be largely technical, with low turnover magnifying moves on the day.
In the mainland, the CSI300 Index, which tracks the top listings in Shanghai and Shenzhen and on which major Chinese stock index derivative products are based, bounced up 0.6 percent from a six-month closing low recorded on Monday.
The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6 percent from a more than three-year low recorded on Monday.
China Asset Management launched on Tuesday the first renminbi-denominated exchange traded fund (ETF) to be listed in Hong Kong that is based on the CSI300 Index and gives foreign investors direct exposure to China's domestic stock markets.
Both the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong and the Hang Seng Index gained 1.8 percent. The Hang Seng benchmark finished at 19,455.3, with resistance seen next at its 200-day moving average at 19,570.3.
Tuesday's gains were the Hang Seng's third in a row and its best since a 2.2 percent jump on June 29.
Stop-losses for short positions on Hang Seng Index futures contracts were triggered at around the 19,200 level shortly after the market opened, providing extra bounce for the index, traders said.
We are mostly chasing the top performers today, some of which have been lagging recently, said Alex Wong, Ample Finance's director of asset management.
Going into the earnings season, with so many profit warnings, there's only a very narrow cluster of stocks that I will position myself in, Wong said.
On Tuesday, Chinese insurers were broadly stronger after China Life Insurance and China Pacific Insurance Company (CPIC) posted encouraging June premium growth, with life premium improving for a second-straight month.
China Life, the mainland's largest insurer, jumped 3.6 percent in Hong Kong and 2.1 percent in Shanghai. CPIC rose 3.5 percent in Hong Kong and 1.2 percent in Shanghai.
HK PROPERTY, CHINA RAILWAY STRONG
Ample's Wong said he favoured Hong Kong property developers.
The sector were outperformers after Bank of America-Merril Lynch analysts reiterated their overweight rating on Hong Kong developers after the parties involved in the Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) were formally charged.
BofA-ML said the valuation gap between Hong Kong housing prices and property stocks was at an all-time high, selecting Cheung Kong, Henderson Land and New World Development as their top picks.
SHKP gained 1.5 percent, trimming losses on the year to 1.4 percent.
Cheung Kong jumped 4.2 percent, while Henderson and New World each rose more than 2 percent.
Railway stocks jumped after China's National Development and Reform Commission said railway infrastructure investment in the world's second-largest economy in the second half could double that in the first half.
China Railway Construction (CRC) jumped 4 percent in Hong Kong and 3.1 percent in Shanghai. In the year to date, CRC has surged more than 55 percent in Hong Kong and more than 22 percent in Shanghai.
The latest tranche of China economic data on Tuesday showed foreign direct investment inflows fell 3 percent in the first half of 2012 versus last year, a further sign of intensifying headwinds facing the world's second-largest economy.