GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares firm as China, U.S. data brighten outlook
* MSCI Asia ex-Japan up 0.2 pct, Nikkei up 0.4 pct
* Euro steadies, pops back above $1.29
* U.S. index futures edge up 0.1 pct after Friday gains
SINGAPORE, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Asian shares crept higher on Monday as investors took heart from economic data from China and the United States that raised hopes about the outlook for growth in the world's top two economies.
The euro was under pressure, having been knocked by the prospect of a recession in Germany and political uncertainty in Italy after technocratic Prime Minister Mario Monti, an investors' favourite, said at the weekend he intended to resign early.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2 percent, while Tokyo's Nikkei share average gained 0.4 percent.
The MSCI index rose more than 1 percent last week for its third successive weekly gain, and there was a further boost for regional markets on Sunday when China reported a pick-up in factory output and retail sales growth to eight-month highs.
On Wall Street, the Dow and S&P 500 had risen modestly on Friday after better-than-expected jobs data. S&P 500 futures were up 0.1 percent on Monday.
The euro dipped in early trading towards a two-week low of $1.2876 plumbed on Friday, before bouncing back above $1.29. Investors had sold the euro after Germany's central bank on Friday warned the euro zone's biggest economy could soon enter recession.