* Perky start seen for European share markets
* Risk sentiment soothed as solid US retail data lifts Wall
* World Bank upgrades outlook; China data misses forecasts
* Dollar extends gains on yen and euro
By Wayne Cole
SYDNEY, Jan 15 Asian share markets were mostly
higher on Wednesday as the World Bank upgraded its outlook for
the global economy while the dollar extended gains in the wake
of surprising strength in U.S. consumer spending.
European stocks were expected to start with a spring in
their step, according to financial bookmakers. Britain's FTSE
100, Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40
were seen opening up around 0.3 percent.
A pullback in the yen was welcomed by the Japanese market,
with the Nikkei bouncing 2.2 percent after suffering its
sharpest daily drop in five months on Tuesday.
Progress elsewhere was patchy with investors suffering
whiplash after several days of wild swings. Singapore
added 0.6 percent as did Taiwan, but MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eked
out just 0.1 percent.
Helping the better mood overall, the World Bank upgraded its
forecast for global growth this year by two tenths to 3.2
percent, and predicted a faster pace for both 2015 and 2016.
While the World Bank trimmed forecasts for some developing
nations, including China, growth as a whole was seen
accelerating to 5.3 percent this year.
"The performance of advanced economies is gaining momentum,
and this should support stronger growth in developing countries
in the months ahead," said bank chief Jim Yong Kim.
Data from China on Wednesday showed new bank lending and
money supply growth missed forecasts for December, suggesting
the central bank's efforts to tap the brakes on credit expansion
to contain debt levels was gaining traction.
Shares in Shanghai dipped 0.4 percent, but there was
little obvious impact elsewhere in the region.
The dollar extended its rally to 104.40 yen, leaving
behind Tuesday's trough of 103.00. The euro also firmed on the
yen to 142.34 yen, but lost ground on the dollar to
U.S. CONSUMPTION ON THE UP
The U.S. currency had sprung ahead on Tuesday after retail
data soothed the hurt done by last week's disappointing payrolls
report. While the headline measure of retail sales rose only a
modest 0.2 percent, a core measure favoured by analysts beat all
expectations with a jump of 0.7 percent.
"Growth in final sales, particularly household consumption,
appears to have picked up sharply in Q4," said Barclays
economist Peter Newland. The bank lifted its forecasts for
economic growth in the quarter to an annualised 3.5 percent.
That, combined with a burst of merger activity and earnings
beats by Wells Fargo and JPMorgan, helped lift
the Dow 0.71 percent. The S&P 500 added 1.08
percent and the tech-laden Nasdaq jumped 1.69 percent.
The better economic news left 10-year U.S. Treasury yields
up 5 basis points at 2.87 percent, while slugging Eurodollar and Fed funds futures .
Price moves have been wild recently as the market tries to
second-guess the speed of tapering by the Federal Reserve, and
when it might actually start raising interest rates.
Two of the most hawkish of Fed officials, Dallas Fed chief
Richard Fisher and Charles Plosser at the Philadelphia Fed, on
Tuesday advocated sticking with tapering.
It will be the turn of the more dovish head of the Chicago
Fed, Charles Evans, to give the next speech later on Wednesday.
In commodity markets, a firmer dollar and rising equities
shoved gold back to $1,239.15 an ounce, and off a high of
1,255.00 hit Tuesday.
Oil prices were softer after a mixed performance overnight.
U.S. crude dipped 8 cents to $92.51 a barrel, while Brent
eased 17 cents to $106.22.