Asian shares dip amid caution on global growth, U.S. earnings

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Asian shares weakened on Friday as trepidation ahead of the start of the U.S. corporate earnings season and underlying anxiety over the global growth outlook eclipsed some reassuring U.S. economic data.

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians are reflected on an electronic board showing stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan December 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Shares in Europe are expected to open fractionally higher, with pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures up 0.03 percent at 3,366 in early European trades. German DAX futures were 0.02 percent lower at 11,971.5 and FTSE futures were up 0.2 percent at 7,377.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.1 percent, having earlier see-sawed within a tight range.

Despite broad weakness in the region, with Chinese blue-chips down 0.4 percent ahead of the release of March trade data, higher Chinese iron ore prices helped to push Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index up 0.85 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei stock index gained 0.7 percent.

Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets and Stockbroking in Sydney, said markets were in a “holding pattern” as they awaited Chinese trade data and the U.S. earnings season.

Matt Simpson, senior market analyst at GAIN Capital in Singapore, said