Asia shares cautious ahead of China data test

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Asian shares edged cautiously higher on Monday catching the tailwind from a bounce on Wall Street and ahead of what are expected to be upbeat readings on the Chinese economy, though any disappointment could quickly chill the mood.

Industrial output and retail sales are forecast to show hefty annual gains given activity in April last year was badly marred by pandemic lockdowns. Exports remain strong as the developed world reopens, while stimulus at home should support retail spending.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) firmed 0.2%, nudging further away from a four-month trough hit last week.

Japan’s Nikkei (.N225) gained 0.4%, having also touched its lowest since early January last week.

S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures were both flat, following Friday’s rally.

The U.S. data calendar is light this week, putting the focus on minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting for any clue when officials there might…

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