Asia-Pacific stocks mostly edge higher; Alibaba shares in Hong Kong surge for a second day

Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese tech giant Alibaba surged around 2% in Tuesday morning trade, adding to its more than 6% gains on Monday.

Asia-Pacific stocks mostly edge higher; Alibaba shares in Hong Kong surge for a second day

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific mostly edged higher in Tuesday trade following a muted finish overnight on Wall Street.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.19% while the Topix index gained 0.87%. South Korea's Kospi advanced 1.15%.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed as the Shanghai composite stood little changed while the Shenzhen component climbed 0.963%. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong jumped 1.2%.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 traded little changed.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5%.

In corporate developments, Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese tech giant Alibaba surged around 2% in Tuesday morning trade, adding to its more than 6% gains on Monday.

The Chinese central bank announced Monday that Alibaba's financial technology affiliate Ant Group is to restructure as a financial holding company. It comes just days after Alibaba was slapped with a $2.8 billion fine for violating anti-monopoly rules.

China's March exports miss expectations

China's exports in March rose 30.6% from a year ago, according to customs data released Tuesday. Economists had expected exports to grow 35.5% from a year ago, according to a Reuters poll.

Chinese imports for March jumped 38.1% from a year earlier, above expectations in a Reuters poll for a 23.3% on-year increase.

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 ended its trading day little changed at 4,127.99 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 55.2 points to close at 33,745.40. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.36% on the day to 13,850.

The muted moves on Wall Street came as investors waited for the release of inflation numbers due out on Tuesday stateside.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.23 — largely struggling to recover following last week's slip from above 92.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.63 per dollar, stronger than levels above 109.5 against the greenback seen yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7603, lower than levels above $0.765 seen in the previous trading week.

Oil prices edged higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.49% to $63.59 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.5% to $60 per barrel.