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Asia Shares Anxious for Earnings Season, U.S. Data Deluge

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Asian shares faltered on Monday as anxious investors wait to see if U.S. earnings can justify skyhigh valuations, while a rally in bonds could be tested by what should be very strong readings for U.S. inflation and retail sales this week.

MSCIs broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan was off 1.1 in slow trade. Tokyos Nikkei edged down 0.6, while South Korean stocks were near flat.

The Nifty 50 index slid 2.4 as India overtook Brazil to become the country with the second most COVID19 cases.

Chinese blue chips lost 1.5 ahead of a rush of economic figures from the country.

Shares in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd rose 16 after China slapped a record 18 billion yuan 2.75 billion fine on the ecommerce giant. Over a third of the stock is held by U.S. investors, and it makes up more than 8 of the MSCI EM index.

Ever since the Ant IPO was cancelled and with the antitrust laws in the pipeline, the market has expected that Alibaba would pay a price, said Louis Tse, managing director at Wealthy Securities in Hong Kong.

I think its good for the share price now that the news has been delivered and it is cleared up at last.

Nasdaq futures slipped 0.3 on Monday, as did SP 500 futures. EUROSTOXX 50 futures dithered either side of flat, while FTSE futures were down 0.3.

Growth and tech stocks had seen something of a revival last week as U.S. 10year Treasury yields retreated to 1.66, from a 14month top of 1.776.

Thomas Mathews, a markets economist at Capital Economics,…

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