Asian Equities Higher Before China Data

Asian shares firmed on Wednesday, shrugging off weakness on Wall Street as investors bet that a batch of economic data from China due later in the day would bolster the case for more stimulus in the world’s second-largest economy.  MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.5 percent. Japan’s Nikkei stock index edged down slightly.

U.S. stocks ended lower on Tuesday after a recent run-up in global bond yields unsettled investors, though stocks recovered from steeper losses after Treasury yields pulled back slightly from six-month highs.  The yield on benchmark 10-year notes was last at 2.259 percent, down from its U.S. close of 2.262 percent.

China will release official data on April industrial production at 0530 GMT, as well as retail sales figures for last month and fixed investment.  “The PMI prints have not been encouraging,” Sean Callow, senior currency strategist at Westpac, said in a note to clients.