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Asian shares gain solidly, Korea tensions take backseat

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Investing.com - Asian shares posted solid gain on Tuesday with some markets at multi-year highs on continued upbeat sentiment after the first round of France's presidential election stoked a relief rally, though regional investors are keeping a close eye on the Korean peninsula.

Developments on the Korean Peninsula include the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier-led battle group heading to the Sea of Japan. China called for restraint in dealing with North Korea when Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump over the phone on Monday.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose nearly 1%, building on recent gains, while South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.50%, hitting a two-year high earlier in the session.

The Hang Seng Index jumped 0.79% and the Shanghai Composite gained 0.22%. On Monday, Chinese stocks tumbled almost 2% for their worst session in 2017.

Markets in Australia and New Zealand are closed for ANZAC day.

Overnight, U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday, as investors piled into risk assets after pro-European candidate Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French presidential election on Sunday.

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron garnered 23.8% of the vote while far-right candidate Marine Le Pen garnered 21.7%. Meanwhile, fears eased that anti-EU candidate Marine Le Pen would pip Emmanuel Macron to the French presidency, after polls indicated a victory for Mr Macron in the runoff vote scheduled for May 7. An Ipsos/Sopra Steria poll saw Mr Macron winning the runoff by roughly 62% to 36%.

Financials, mostly banks, led the rally on Wall Street, as JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) were among the strongest performers of the session.

Elsewhere, investors anticipated an update from President Trump on his plan for tax reform, after he said Friday, he will unveil a tax plan on "Wednesday or shortly thereafter" that includes a "massive tax cut" for individuals and businesses.

U.S. equities shrugged off geopolitical tensions, after North Korea said on Sunday that it was ready to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier, as two Japanese navy ships joined a U.S. carrier group in the western Pacific.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1.05% higher at 20,763. The S&P 500 added 1.08% and the Nasdaq Composite closed 1.24% higher at 5,983.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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