Hong Kong’s Hang Seng leads gains in Asia; Alibaba shares soar

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Friday morning trade, with investors monitoring shares of Alibaba in Hong Kong after the Chinese tech giant posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday.

In Friday morning trade, shares of Alibaba in Hong Kong surged 12.08% after it reported Thursday fourth-quarter earnings of 7.95 yuan ($1.18) per share, excluding items, on revenues of 204.05 billion yuan ($30.28 billion).

That was higher than analyst expectations for earnings of 7.31 yuan a share on CNY199.25 billion in revenue, according to StreetAccount.

Other Chinese tech stocks in the city also saw big gains, with Tencent rising 3.71% while Netease surged 5.39%. The broader Hang Seng index in Hong Kong climbed 2.78%.

Mainland Chinese stocks also traded higher, with the Shanghai Composite up about 0.5% while the Shenzhen Component advanced 0.845%.

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The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 0.88% as shares of conglomerate SoftBank Group surged 4.47%. The Topix index advanced 0.62%. South Korea’s Kospi also jumped 1.15%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.07%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 1.57% higher.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 jumped 1.99% to 4,057.84. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 516.91 points, or 1.61%, to 32,637.19. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite outperformed as it rose 2.68% to 11,740.65.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 101.691 — off levels above 102.2 seen earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 127.01 per dollar, still stronger than levels above 127.8 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7103, holding above the $0.705 level that it momentarily fell below earlier in the week.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures rising around 0.2% to $117.61 per barrel. U.S. crude futures hovered above the flatline, trading at $114.14 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Samantha Subin contributed to this report.

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