Asian shares mixed as Trump comments in focus for policy impact

Asian shares were narrowly mixed on Tuesday as political turmoil engulfed the Trump administration over ties with Russia and investors turned cautious on the potential fallout on economic policy plans.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.52% to its highest levels since December 2015 as investors noted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that his country he would continue pushing for a trans-Pacific trade deal while working with the U.S. on checking the missile and nuclear weapon ambitions of North Korea.

South Korea's Kospi gained 0.3% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.38%, while the Hang Seng Index eased 0.14% and the Shanghai Composite fell 0.66%.

Meanwhile, Moody's downgraded the corporate rating of Singapore-listed Noble Group, citing "weak operating cash flow and large debt maturities over the next twelve months." Noble Group shares gained 2.54% on Tuesday after slumping more than 20% last week on a first quarter earnings loss.

Overnight, U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday, as risk-on sentiment returned, after a surge in tech and energy stocks, while a weaker than expected manufacturing print for May failed to weigh on sentiment.

All three major U.S. indexes ended the session in positive territory, despite data showing that manufacturing in New York state shrank for the first time in seven months in May.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said its Empire State manufacturing index fell last month to minus 1, from 5.2 in April, as new orders dipped and shipment grew more quickly.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average at 20,981.94, up 0.41%. The S&P 500 gained 0.40% while the Nasdaq Composite closed at 6149.67, up 0.20%.

The energy sector was one of the biggest gainers for the session, after crude futures surged more than 2% amid bullish comments concerning further production cuts from Saudi and Russian energy ministers.

On the political front, investors continued to monitor developments in North Korea, after the Kim Jong-un led nation, confirmed that it had carried out a missile test on Sunday.