Asian shares firm in countdown to China data

Asian shares firm in countdown to China data

SYDNEY: Asian shares inched ahead on Wednesday after Wall Street got a lift from encouraging corporate earnings and investors wagered an imminent barrage of Chinese data would confirm the economy had at least stabilized.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.4 percent, on top of a jump of 1.4 percent on Tuesday.Australian shares firmed 0.4 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei dithered either side of flat.All eyes were on the Chinese gross domestic product report due at 0200 GMT . While there are some doubts about the reliability of the data, markets tend to take them on face value.The economy is forecast to have expanded by 6.7 percent in the third quarter from the year earlier, underpinned by government stimulus and a hot property market.Other data due is expected to show a slight pick-up in retail sales, industrial output and urban investment.”We view a consensus GDP print as the most market-friendly outcome with a downside miss likely to trigger hard-landing worries and an upside surprise, overheating/leverage worries,” wrote analysts at ING in a note.”The Shanghai Composite has climbed the wall of worry since February and we remain of the view that it will be among the top performing Asian stock markets in the final months of the year.”On Wall Street, the Dow ended Tuesday up 0.42 percent, while the S P 500 added 0.62 percent and the Nasdaq 0.85 percent. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.5 percent to its highest level in nearly a week.Of the 52 S P 500 companies that have reported results to date for the third quarter, 81 percent had earnings that topped average analyst estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.One company seemingly disappointing investors was Intel , which slid 5.4 percent after the bell despite beating expectations on its earnings.POUND UP AMID BREXIT CONFUSIONA report on U.S. consumer prices showed underlying inflation moderated slightly in September to 2.2 percent, leading the market to slightly pare back bets on a December rate hike.Fed fund futures imply around a 65 percent probability of a move, down from 70 percent.Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week the U.S. central bank could allow inflation to run above its target.U.S. Treasury yields dipped, in line with their UK…

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