Hong Kong stocks finished Tuesday morning slightly higher after pharma giant Moderna said its vaccine candidate had proved almost 95 percent effective in preventing coronavirus.
The Hang Seng Index added 0.11 percent, or 28 points, to 26,410.
Stocks across the border slipped, weighed by losses in healthcare and technology, media and telecom (TMT) stocks on worries over lofty valuations, while more bond defaults hit sentiment.
The CSI300 index fell 0.3 percent to 4,890 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 percent to 3,340.
Falling the most, the CSI300 healthcare index and the CSI TMT industries index slid 2.6 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.
Developers led gains, with the CSI300 real estate index rising 3 percent.
Transport firms, in particular shipping and port firms, climbed on hopes of a global economic recovery.
China's mutual funds shifted some of their positions to cyclical players for more safety margin as valuations of techs are too high now, said Yan Kaiwen, an analyst with China Fortune Securities.
Yan added the recent bond defaults also hit market sentiment.
State-backed integrated circuit maker Tsinghua Unigroup defaulted on a 1.3 billion yuan bond issued in 2017, according to three sources with knowledge of the matter, Reuters reported.
Separately, a top Chinese securities regulator said on Tuesday that he hoped Sino-US relations will be much improved under a Biden administration. (AFP & Reuters)