GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares rise; eyes on China inflation data

MELBOURNE Tue May 10, 2011 9:36pm EDT

MELBOURNE May 11 (Reuters) - Asian shares pushed higher in line with gains in world markets as Chinese trade data buoyed optimism about the global recovery, but investors will be watching China's inflation data due later on Wednesday for any hints on further tightening.

U.S. stocks rose for a third day in a row, led by utilities and other defensive sectors, while European shares climbed to a one-week closing high as investor concerns over a possible Greek debt restructuring receded.

The euro maintained overnight gains on Wednesday, helped by stabilising commodity prices and chances of another aid package for Greece, but some traders said selling based on Greece worries could subside though the currency may remain vulnerable.

Markets will be on the look-out for any surprises from China's inflation data, due out at 0200 GMT, which could prompt a further round of tightening. A downside surprise will ease those concerns. April consumer price data is expected to come in around 5.2 percent.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.9 percent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.0 percent and South Korea's Kospi rose 1.0 percent after a holiday on Tuesday.

Asian shares outside Japan rose 0.8 percent in early trade on Wednesday.

Australia's top home lender, Commonwealth Bank of Australia posted a 13 percent rise in Q3 profits, as expected, and said it saw a gradual improvement in operating conditions.

Commodity prices firmed on Tuesday, recovering from last week's near-record sell-off, as China's stronger-than-expected trade data illustrated the strength of global demand.

Gold and silver rose, while copper held firm. Spot gold edged up 0.2 percent in early Asia trade at 1517.95, heading for a fourth day in a row of gains.

Crude oil prices also edged up in Asia after resuming their march back from last week's steep fall as rising waters along the Mississippi River threatened to disrupt petroleum plants in Louisiana in the next two weeks. U.S. crude CLc1 was trading up 0.25 percent at $104.14 a barrel.

Stronger commodity prices boosted the Australian dollar , which rose back above $1.08 to $1.0859. The euro held overnight gains to be at $1.4410.

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blogs.reuters.com/hedgehub (Editing by Ramya Venugopal)

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