Hong Kong shares rose for a second day on Friday as coal counters clawed back steep losses from earlier this week, buoyed by favourable stimulus rhetoric from European central banks and ahead of a slew of U.S. and China data.
Mainland Chinese markets were relatively more subdued, with property-related sectors buoying index gains as investors welcomed a report in official media on long-term efforts to control home prices.
At midday, the CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings was up 0.6 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2 percent. On the week, they are each up 1.6 percent, headed for their first weekly gain in five.
The Hang Seng Index, which hit a one-week low on Wednesday, was up 1.5 percent at 20,766.6 points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong climbed 1.9 percent.
On the week, they are now down 0.2 and 1.3 percent, respectively. Both have had losses in six out of the previous seven weeks.
But turnover in Hong Kong was again weak with the United States coming off the Independence Day holiday and with non-farms payroll due later on Friday, which investors are watching for clues on the anticipated tapering of the Federal Reserve's monetary easing.
Short selling interest accounted for 6.6 percent of total turnover at midday, after having stayed above 10 percent for more than two weeks, versus a historical 8 percent average.
"There's definitely some more short covering today in Hong Kong...