Asia-Pacific stocks mixed; Ant Group denies report that it's exploring ways for Ma to exit

  • Japan's exports in March surged 16.1% as compared with a year earlier, Ministry of Finance data showed Monday. That was much higher than the 11.6% increase expected by economists in a Reuters poll.
  • Investors will watch Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba on Monday. This comes after Ant Group said in a tweet that a recent report by Reuters that the firm was looking at ways for Jack Ma to exit were "untrue and baseless."
  • Reuters reported over the weekend that financial technology giant Ant is "exploring options" for Ma to divest his stake in the firm and "give up control," citing "a source familiar with regulators' thinking and two people with close ties to the company."

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific traded mixed on Monday morning, with investors watching Alibaba's stock in Hong Kong following yet another development between affiliate Ant Group and billionaire Jack Ma.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan dipped 0.42% in early trade while the Topix index shed 0.3%. Japan's exports in March surged 16.1% as compared with a year earlier, Ministry of Finance data showed Monday. That was much higher than the 11.6% increase expected by economists in a Reuters poll.

South Korea's Kospi also declined 0.11%.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia advanced as the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.13%.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.11% lower.

Investors will watch Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba on Monday. This comes after Ant Group said in a tweet that a recent report by Reuters that the firm was looking at ways for Jack Ma to exit were "untrue and baseless."

Reuters reported over the weekend that financial technology giant Ant is "exploring options" for Ma to divest his stake in the firm and "give up control," citing "a source familiar with regulators' thinking and two people with close ties to the company."

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.601 after a recent decline from above 91.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.68 per dollar, stronger than levels above 109.2 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7714, having risen from below $0.768 last week.

Oil prices dipped in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.51% to $66.43 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also slipped 0.51% to $62.81 per barrel.

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