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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares rise, though earnings worries remain

* MSCI Asia ex-Japan up 0.1 pct, Nikkei gains 0.8 pct

* Yen slips vs dollar, euro as stocks up, BOJ easing eyed

* European shares likely to be steady

* Copper, oil, gold rise

TOKYO, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Asian shares inched up Thursday as signs of recovery in China and the United States eased fears of deteriorating global growth, though generally weak corporate earnings continued to make investors wary.

The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan , which fell the past four days, was up 0.1 percent.

Resources-reliant Australian shares inched up 0.1 percent, drawing support from increases in copper and oil prices.

South Korean shares recovered from earlier losses to trade up 0.2 percent as Hyundai Motor Co reported July-September net profit of 2.17 trillion won ($1.97 billion), an increase of 13 percent and in line with market forecasts.

The Hang Seng Index was almost unchanged as investors took profits after its 2012 closing high on Wednesday.

``Concerns about earnings are burdening the index, while securities and funds are supporting the index with bargain-buying,'' said Park Ok-hee, an analyst at IBK Securities, of Korean equities.

Japan's Nikkei average rose 0.8 percent as a weakening yen on expectations for the Bank of Japan to take further easing measures at its Oct. 30 meeting supported exporters.

European shares were also likely to stabilise after halting a three-day slide on Wednesday. Financial spreadbetters expect London's FTSE 100, Paris's CAC-40 and Frankfurt's DAX to open almost flat. U.S. stock futures were up 0.2 percent to hint at a firm Wall Street open.

Credit Suisse said in a research note that Asian companies that have already reported third-quarter earnings have only had a slight negative surprise.

``While it is early days in the Asian reporting season with only 58 stocks or 12.3 percent of market capitalisation having reported, so far the change to 2013 estimate consensus EPS for companies that have reported since 30 September is -0.2 percent,'' it said.

The outlook also improved, with 48 percent of the companies which have reported fresh earnings downgrading forecasts, compared with two-thirds in the previous quarter, it said.

As other regions muddle through, Southeast Asia is becoming one bright spot in a world of gloomy corporate earnings, with strong profit growth powered by a population of 600 million people increasingly willing, and able, to spend in their fast-growing economies.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Thursday the country's factory output should grow faster in the last three months of 2012 than in the third quarter, though the recovery remains clouded by uncertainty in export markets.

It followed a survey of purchasing managers on Wednesday which signalled that China's economy is making a slow, steady recovery from its weakest period of growth in three years.

``I think markets are near their bottom or are bottoming out but investors are still not confident whether to trust positive indicators, putting a cap on prices,'' said Tetsu Emori, a Tokyo-based commodities fund manager at Astmax Investment.

YEN WEAKENS

Brent rose 0.3 percent to $108.13 a barrel, after falling for a seventh consecutive session on Wednesday, while U.S. crude was also up 0.3 percent to $85.97.

London copper added 0.7 percent to $7,872 a tonne.

Spot gold edged up 0.3 percent to $1,706.79 an ounce in thin trade, but still within sight of its weakest level in seven weeks as the U.S. Federal Reserve helped boost the U.S. dollar's safe haven appeal by announcing its commitment to economic stimulus measures.

With stocks consolidating, the yen was pressured as the currency typically loses its appeal when risk aversion wanes. The BOJ's easing expectations also weighed on the currency.

The dollar rose 0.4 percent to a four-month high of 80.10 against the yen on Thursday. The euro was up 0.4 percent at 103.84 against the yen. The Australian dollar also rose 0.4 percent to 82.89 against the yen.

The euro was up 0.1 percent at $1.2985, off a near two-week low of $1.29205 on Wednesday.

There was further evidence of recovery picking up in the U.S. housing market as new single-family home sales surged in September to their highest level in nearly 2-1/2 years.

But the euro zone's purchasing managers index fell to the lowest level since June 2009 in October, while manufacturing index in Germany, Europe's largest economy, fell unexpectedly and its business sentiment dropped for the sixth consecutive month to its lowest in more than 2-1/2 years.

Asian credit markets were steady, with the spread on the iTraxx Asia ex-Japan investment-grade index barely changed.