Sydney — Asian share markets swung higher on Wednesday as a raft of Chinese data easily beat expectations in a sign Beijing’s policy stimulus may finally be gaining traction in the world’s second-largest economy. Investors were hoping for better news from China and were not disappointed with first-quarter economic growth pipping forecasts at 6.4%. More importantly industrial output surged 8.5% in March from a year earlier, blowing away forecasts of a 5.9% increase. Retail sales also pleased with a rise of 8.7%. Investors reacted immediately by buying the Australian dollar, often a liquid proxy for China plays, which pushed up 0.3% to a two-month top at $0.7206. Japan’s Nikkei added 0.5% to reach its highest in almost five months, while E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.2%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.2% to near its highest since July. “This suggests that policy measures introduced by Chinese officials last year are now bearing fruit,” said...

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