May 2 (Reuters) - Asia-Pacific equities extended gains in April as investors' risk appetite increased, bolstered by the French elections' first-round results, easing concerns over North Korea and strong first-quarter earnings posted by major Asian companies.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan , which is up more than 15 percent this year, was trading near a two-year high on Tuesday. The Indian stocks led the region with gains of over 20 percent so far this year, while China bottomed the list with a near 2.5 percent rise.
Valuation-wise, New Zealand and Indian equities were the most expensive in the region with forward P/E multiples of over 18, while the South Korean and Hong Kong stocks were the cheapest, trading around 11 times their earnings.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd flagged stronger earnings and announced a cancellation of treasury shares after posting a solid first-quarter profit boosted by the memory chip business, sending its shares to a new high.
CITIC Securities Co Ltd, China's biggest brokerage, reported a 40.2 percent rise in first-quarter net profit to 2.3 billion yuan ($333.63 million).
TSMC said Q1 net profit up 35 pct to T$87.6 bln.
Reporting by Gaurav S Dogra and Patturaja Murugabooopathy; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips