Alibaba announces fourth quarter earnings

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific looked set for a higher Friday start, with investors monitoring shares of Alibaba in Hong Kong after the Chinese tech giant posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday.Futures pointed to a higher start for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 26,960 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 26,930. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 26,604.84.Australian stocks also appeared set to open higher, with the SPI futures contract at 7,176, against the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,105.90. Australia’s April retail sales data is set to be out at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Friday.Chinese tech titan Alibaba reported Thursday fourth-quarter earnings of 7.95 yuan ($1.18) per share, excluding items, on revenues of 204.05 billion yuan ($30.28 billion). That was higher than analyst expectations for earnings of 7.31 yuan a share on CNY199.25 billion in revenue, according to StreetAccount.Stock picks and investing trends from CNBC Pro:Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 jumped 1.99% to 4,057.84. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 516.91 points, or 1.61%, to 32,637.19. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite outperformed as it rose 2.68% to 11,740.65.CurrenciesThe U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 101.829 — off levels above 102.2 seen earlier in the week.The Japanese yen traded at 127 per dollar, still stronger than levels above 127.8 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.71, holding above the $0.705 level that it momentarily fell below earlier in the week.— CNBC’s Samantha Subin contributed to this report.

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