Asia shares pare losses

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    SYDNEY- Asian share markets pared early losses on Monday as data confirmed China’s economy had bounced back last quarter as factory output jumped, helping offset recent disappointing news on US consumer spending.

    Chinese blue chips edged up 0.4 percent after the economy was reported to have grown 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter, on a year earlier, topping forecasts of 6.1 percent.

    Industrial production for December also beat estimates, though retail sales missed the mark.

    MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan trimmed losses and were off 0.2 percent, having hit a string of record peaks in recent weeks. Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.8 percent and away from a 30-year high.

    E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 dipped 0.3 percent, though Wall Street will be closed on Monday for a holiday. EUROSTOXX 50 futures eased 0.2 percent and FTSE futures 0.1 percent.

    The pick-up in China was a marked contrast to the US and Europe, where the spread of coronavirus has scarred consumer spending, underlined by dismal US retail sales reported on Friday.

    Also evident are doubts about how much of US President-elect Joe Biden’s stimulus package will make it through Congress given Republican opposition, and the risk of more mob violence at his inauguration on Wednesday.

    “The data bring into question the durability of the recent move higher in bond yields and the rise in inflation compensation,” said analysts at ANZ in a note.