SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian shares rose again on Monday as tensions in the Korean Peninsula eased and first-quarter earnings shone, although some investors pondered whether this sunny outlook could dim in the near future.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS climbed 0.1 percent following a jump of more than 1 percent on Friday. The index is poised to end the month rather flat after two consecutive losses.
South Korea's KOSPI index .KS11 gained 0.5 percent and is set to end April more than 2 percent higher on record profits from Samsung (005930.KS) and after a spectacularly successful inter-Korean summit. Australia's benchmark index added 0.2 percent while New Zealand shares .NZ50 were a touch softer.
Liquidity was lacking on Monday with Japan, China and India taking a holiday and much of Asia closed on Tuesday.
Overall, stocks continue to be supported by strong first quarter corporate earnings. More than half of Wall Street's S&P 500 .SPX companies have reported and 79.4 percent have beaten consensus estimates.
Analysts now expect earnings growth of 24.6 percent, more than double forecasts at the beginning of the year and thanks in large part to hefty tax cuts.
But investors have grown increasingly jittery with the U.S. Federal Reserve signaling faster rate rises this year and the European Central Bank seen likely to end its generous bond-buying program soon.
“The key question for 2018 remains to what extent can the benign environment persist?” said Jacob Mitchell, Chief Investment Officer of Australian investment boutique Antipodes which has A$7 billion in assets under management.