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

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By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY, Aug 16 (Reuters) – Asian shares slid on Monday after a raft of Chinese data showed a surprisingly sharp slowdown in the engine of global growth, just as much of the world races to stem the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 with vaccinations.

Figures on July retail sales, industrial production and urban investment all missed forecasts, a trend that is only likely to get worse given the recent tightening in coronavirus restrictions there.

“Asia’s low vaccination rates and low tolerance for community spread suggest it is the region most at risk economically from the Delta variant,” said JPMorgan economist Bruce Kasman.

“China is in the midst of removing policy…

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