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Asian stocks swing ahead of China data

The Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.2%, while the Hang Seng Index fell 0.13%.

Asian stocks swing ahead of China data

Asian shares oscillated between gains and losses on Tuesday in morning session as investors nervously awaited the release of data from China.

The Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.2%, while the Hang Seng Index fell 0.13%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.5% and Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.72%. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.42%. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.1% as of 10:15 a.m. Tokyo time.

Chinese authorities are due to release a batch of data, including growth, retail sales and industrial production figures. The economy, which appears to be decelerating faster than the government has acknowledged, is expected to have grown at around an annual rate of 7% last year.

Oil prices, meanwhile, remained under pressure from Iran's re-entry into the global supply market after international sanctions on the country were lifted at the weekend.

Among early movers on the Shanghai composite were China Railway Construction, up 0.85%, and PetroChina, with gains of 0.83%.

Korean blue chips traded mixed, with shares of Samsung Electronics up 1.07%, while Posco and Hyundai Motor were down 1.52% and 1.44% respectively.

Resources stocks were resilient, with Rio Tinto flat, after being down as much as 0.59% in early trade, and BHP Billiton up 0.34%.

Energy plays in Australia were mostly down, with shares of Santos lower by 1.90%, Oil Search down 0.83% and Woodside Petroleum shedding 0.84%. In Japan, oil stocks traded mixed with Inpex and Japan Petroleum up 0.27% and 0.44%.

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