Investors were hoping for better news from China and were not disappointed with first-quarter economic growth pipping forecast at 6.4 percent. More importantly, industrial output surged 8.5 percent in March from a year earlier, blowing away forecasts of a 5.9 percent increase. Retail sales also pleased with a rise of 8.7 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei added 0.5 percent to reach its highest in almost five months, while E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.2 percent to near its highest since July.
In currency markets, the dollar finally managed to top resistance on the yen at 112.13 to reach its highest since December at 112.16. It was last at 112.02. The dollar was flat on a basket of currencies at 96.991, still within the 95.00 to 97.70 range that has held for the past six months.