The stock had fallen following unconfirmed rumors that linked the company’s founder Jack Ma to a national security investigation. Chinese state media reported that the Hangzhou security bureau on April 25 took “criminal coercive measures” on an individual with the last name Ma over suspicion of using the internet to endanger national security.
CNBC was unable to confirm the Chinese report. Alibaba and the Jack Ma Foundation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
UK-based bank HSBC’s stock in Hong Kong rose 1.85%. On Friday, Reuters reported HSBC’s top shareholder Chinese insurance giant Ping An called for the bank’s break-up.
Ronald Wan, non-executive chairman at Partners Financial Holdings, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday: “When we look at this matter, we need to add in some sort of a political element as well.”
“Definitely the Hong Kong operation can be operating independently … separated from other parts of operation. I think it can follow the instruction of the government …more correctly,” Wan said. “For the global investors, I think they need to make a decision whether they should accept this … separation or spinoff.”
Over in South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.22%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded little changed.
Several markets are closed in the region for holidays, including China, Japan, Singapore and India. Hong Kong will return to trade from a holiday on Monday.
Over in Europe, shares in the region abruptly fell on Monday, driven by a brief crash in Swedish markets. It was caused by a single sell order trade from Citigroup, reportedly tied to a wrong calculation relating to a Nasdaq index that involved Swedish stocks.
In US stocks, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite hit new lows for the year before closing in positive territory for the day.
The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.63% to 12,536.02, while the S&P 500 rose 0.57% to 4,155.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 84.29 points, or 0.26%, to close at 33,061.50. The Dow was down more than 500 points at its session lows.
The yield on the benchmark US 10-year Treasury note rose about 11 basis points to 2.994% on Monday, hitting a high of 3.01% during the session — the highest since Dec. 3, 2018.
Financial markets expect the US central bank on Wednesday to announce a half-percentage point increase in the Fed’s benchmark interest rate.
Currencies and oil
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 103.457, falling from levels around 103.7 earlier.
The Japanese yen traded at 130.03 per dollar, as it stayed at levels weaker than 129.
Oil prices declined in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures inching down 0.3% to $107.26 per barrel. US crude futures lost 0.25% to trade at $104.89 per barrel.
— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.