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Asia-Pacific stocks edge higher; Baidu rises in Hong Kong debut

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Tuesday trade, with Chinese search giant Baidu making its debut in Hong Kong.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 edged 0.53% higher while the Topix index gained 0.33%. South Korea’s Kospi slipped fractionally.

Mainland Chinese stocks dipped as the Shanghai composite shed 0.21% while the Shenzhen component declined 0.287%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was little changed.

Shares in Australia inched higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 rising 0.26%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.15% higher.

In corporate developments, Baidu’s stock began trading in Hong Kong on Tuesday, with shares rising more than 1% in early trade from their issue price. The firm joins a long list of U.S.-listed Chinese tech companies that have done secondary offerings in Hong Kong, including Alibaba and JD.com.

Tech stock watch

Meanwhile, technology stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Tuesday morning trade. Shares of Japanese conglomerate Softbank Group gained 0.17% while South Korean industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics advanced 0.12%. LG Electronics, on the other hand, fell 2.9%.

Over in Hong Kong, shares of Tencent nudged 0.47% higher while Alibaba dipped 0.26%.

The moves in regional tech stocks came after their counterparts stateside rallied overnight amid declining bond yields, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumping 1.23% to close at 13,377.54.

Other major indexes on Wall Street also rose on the day: The S&P 500 advanced 0.7% to 3,940.59 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 103.23 points to 32,731.20.

The moves stateside came as the 10-year Treasury yield declined 5 basis points to around 1.68% (1 basis point equals 0.01%), following a 14-month high touched last week. It last stood at 1.6964%.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.829 — still above levels below 91.5 seen last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.84 per dollar, stronger than levels above 108.75 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7726, still off levels above $0.78 seen last week.

Oil prices declined in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.99% to $63.98 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.96% to $60.97 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

Correction: This article was updated to accurately reflect the level of the U.S. dollar index.

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