Investing.com - Asian shares edged out gains on Tuesday with markets in Japan closed and otherwise thin trade ahead of the May 1 holiday.
China''s Shanghai Composite rose 0.16% and the Hang Seng index gained 0.39% in morning sessions.
In China, among actives, Shanghai Port rose 0.7%, Chongqing Gangjiu was up 2.3% and Wuhu Port (600575.SS) gained 0.6% as Premier Li Keqiang urged the invigoration of businesses along the Yangtze River.
Overnight, upbeat U.S. home sales data and a possible mega-merger of pharmaceutical giants Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) and Astrazeneca Plc (AZN.LONDON) sent U.S. stock prices with the Dow 30 up 0.53%, the S&P 500 index gaining 0.32%, while the NASDAQ Composite Composite index fell 0.03%.
Stocks rose after the National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales jumped 3.4% in March, far surpassing expectations for a 1% gain.
Pending home sales for February were revised to a 0.5% drop from a previously reported decline of 0.8%.
On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales were still down 7.9% in March, though stocks applauded the improvement.
Elsewhere, U.S. drugs giant Pfizer confirmed Monday that it wanted to take over Britain''s AstraZeneca in a deal worth almost £60 billion, which sent large-cap U.S. stocks rising.
In other news, the U.S. slapped fresh sanctions on Russia earlier, with this the third round targeting seven individuals and 17 companies
Still, reports that Russian troops were returning to their bases after conducting military exercises on the Ukrainian border sparked relief buying on Wall Street.
After the close of European trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.46%, France''s CAC 40 rose 0.38%, while Germany''s DAX rose 0.48%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 rose 0.22%.
On Tuesday, the U.S. is to a report compiled by the Conference Board on consumer confidence.