HONG KONG: Asian markets rose Tuesday as an Alibaba-fuelled surge in Hong Kong provided a much-needed boost to sentiment ahead of a slew of earnings reports from the world's biggest firms and an expected Federal Reserve interest rate hike.
A shock cut in US retail titan Walmart's profit outlook fanned concerns that surging inflation and rising borrowing costs are hammering consumer spending and could send the economy into recession, reports AFP.
Adding to the unease was news that Russia's Gazprom will cut back gas deliveries to Germany, citing a faulty turbine, less than a week since restarting flows after 10 days of maintenance work.
But after a cautious start to the day, most Asian markets enjoyed a healthy run-up.
Hong Kong led the way in reaction to news that market heavyweight Alibaba will seek a primary listing in the city, which could pave the way for it to be traded by mainland Chinese investors.
The move from a secondary listing would come as several Chinese firms listed in the United States grow increasingly worried about a regulatory crackdown by authorities as part of a stand-off in the tech sector between Washington and Beijing.
It also further indicated the firm is more confident that a long-running period of clampdowns by China on the industry is coming to an end.
The Alibaba rally gave a boost to other tech giants with JD.com, Tencent, NetEase and Bilibili all up.
A more than five percent jump in Alibaba helped the Hang Seng Index higher, while there were also gains in Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Manila and Jakarta.
Tokyo, Taipei and Wellington slipped.
London opened on the front foot, though Paris and Frankfurt dipped.
Analysts were cautious about the outlook for world markets, despite a positive run-up in July.
"This is most likely a bear market rally and there are significant risks still facing this market," Katerina Simonetti, at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, told Bloomberg Television.
"We're probably going to be seeing a lot of choppiness and potentially some further declines in the market before the year-end."
For now, there will be little respite for investors from the Fed as it continues to ramp up borrowing costs, with another 75 basis point lift expected this week, and more before the end of the year.