GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares post gains, China worries linger

Mon Jul 8, 2013 8:42pm EDT

* Asian shares track gains in Wall Street

* Concerns about Beijing's tough stance on credit undermines risk appetite

* Dollar off 3-year high on profit-taking, uptrend seen intact

By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO, July 9 (Reuters) - Asian shares posted gains on Tuesday, tracking a rally in Wall Street shares spurred by strong U.S. job data last week, but investors were nervous over Beijing's new drive to reform credit to restructure the economy.

The dollar stepped back from three-year high against a basket of currencies as its strong rally sparked by strong U.S. employment data last Friday ran into profit taking, though analysts think its uptrend is intact.

Japan's Nikkei share average rose 1.2 percent in early trade, edging close to the six-week high hit on Monday, while South Korea's Kospi index rose 0.6 percent.

"The market remains sensitive to Chinese shares. The Nikkei's performance will depend on how the Shanghai market moves," said Yoshiyuki Kondo, an analyst at Daiwa Securities.

Asian shares have been hit by a double whammy of worries over slowdown in China and tighter U.S. monetary policy.

China shares had their worst day in two weeks on Monday, after China's leadership laid out plans to ensure banks would support an economic rebalancing to efficient high-end manufacturing from industrial overcapacity and extravagant investment funded by cheap debt.

"It is emerging market shares, rather than U.S. shares, that have taken the brunt of a likely reduction in the Fed's asset purchase. If U.S. bond yields are higher, investors do not need to go to emerging market for yields," said Ayako Sera, senior market economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"We are going to see a tug of war between strong U.S. shares and softer emerging economy shares. The ultimate question is whether tighter U.S. policy will damage emerging economies to the extent that it will hurt global growth," she added.

An immediate focus for Asian traders is China's consumer and producer prices data for June is due at 0130 GMT.

Wall Street shares extended their bull run on Monday, with Standard & Poor's 500 Index gaining 0.53 percent to 1,640.46, supported by the brightening economic outlook after a solid payroll report on Friday.

After the market's close, Dow component Alcoa Inc, the largest U.S. aluminium producer, reported a larger-than-expected quarterly profit, excluding one-time items such as restructuring costs and legal expenses, kicking off the earning season.

Its stock slipped 0.1 percent after hours, after having risen 1.4 percent in the regular session.

The dollar index, which measures the value of the greenback versus a basket of six major currencies, stood at 84.294, off Monday's high of 84.588, its strongest since July 2010.

"On the whole, the dollar is likely to gain further and U.S. yields are likely to rise given the Fed's policy outlook," said Sumitomo Mitsui Trust's Sera.

Expectations the U.S. economy is outperforming the rest of the world and that the Fed will reduce its bond-buying have sparked a nearly 5 percent rally in the dollar since mid-June, prompting some traders to say the move had been too fast.

U.S. Treasuries prices likewise climbed on buying by bargain-minded investors, helping to bring benchmark yields down from near two-year highs.

The yield of 10-year notes stood at 2.647 percent , off Monday's high of 2.755 percent.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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