SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian shares extended gains on Monday as tensions in the Korean Peninsula eased and first-quarter earnings shone, although some investors were cautious about the outlook amid the backdrop of a simmering U.S.-China trade dispute.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS climbed 0.9 percent after gaining more than 1 percent on Friday. The index is poised to eke out a modest rise this month after two consecutive losses.
South Korea's KOSPI index .KS11 rose 0.6 percent and is set to end April nearly 2.5 percent higher following record profits from tech giant Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) and after a spectacularly successful inter-Korean summit.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index .HSI climbed 1.6 percent, Australia's benchmark index gained 0.5 percent while New Zealand shares .NZ50 gave up early losses to be up 0.3 percent.
Liquidity was low on Monday with Japan, China and India on 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