* Asian stock markets : https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

* Nikkei inches up 0.2%, S&P futures shade firmer

* Eyes on US inflation, Fed speakers for tapering clues

* Bitcoin savaged as China clamps down on crypto mining

By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY, May 24 (Reuters) – Asian shares got off to a cautious start on Monday as investors awaited key U.S. inflation readings for guidance on monetary policy, while Bitcoin tried to steady after being hammered on news of China’s crackdown on mining and trading of the cryptocurrency.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.4% in slow trade. Japan’s Nikkei added 0.2% and Chinese blue chips lost 0.5%.

Nasdaq futures were flat and S&P 500 futures firmed 0.2%. EUROSTOXX 50 futures and FTSE futures added 0.1%.

After surveys of the global service sectors out on Friday showed spectacular growth, all eyes will be on U.S. personal consumption and inflation figures this week.

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