TOKYO (Reuters) - Asia stocks wavered on Tuesday after data showed both hot and cold patches in the Chinese economy, but losses were limited as investors turned their focus to corporate earnings from Syria.
Spreadbetters expected European stocks to open higher following overnight Wall Street gains, with Britain’s FTSE rising 0.15 percent, Germany’s DAX gaining 0.3 percent and France’s CAC climbing 0.3 percent.
The dollar was barely changed, with demand for safe-haven U.S. Treasuries ebbing as risk appetite improved in parts of the broader market as investors took the view that Western-led strikes on Syria were a one-off intervention.
China’s economy grew a welcome 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from a year earlier, official data showed on Tuesday, unchanged from the previous quarter.
But separate data showed March industrial output missed expectations and first-quarter fixed-asset investment growth slowed, tempering equity market gains.
“There are two stories here, one backward looking and one forward looking,” said Robert Subbaraman, chief economist for Asia excluding Japan at Nomura in Singapore. “Underneath the stable GDP growth is quite rapid rebalancing from industrial, investment and old economy sectors to consumption, services and new economy sectors like tech. This is encouraging.”
“The more timely March data, however, point to nascent signs of a growth slowdown underway, led by these old economy sectors,” Subbaraman said.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged down 0.15 percent.
South Korea’s KOSPI dipped 0.15 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat.
Shanghai’s index shed 0.35 percent and Japan’s Nikkei was unchanged. Australian stocks gained 0.3 percent with mining shares gaining on higher