* MSCI ex-Japan rises for a second straight day
* Chinese shares start lower, CSI300 index off 1%
* Dollar softens to two-week lows
* Crude oil prices rise on economic recovery hopes
By Swati Pandey and Chibuike Oguh
SYDNEY/NEW YORK, April 7 (Reuters) – A gauge of Asian shares climbed to three-week highs on Wednesday as investors eyed the upcoming earnings season for further signs of a global economic recovery, while the dollar slipped to a two-week low.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan was up 0.3% for its second straight day of gains. It went as high as 697.01, a level last seen on March 18.
Japan’s Nikkei was a shade higher while Australian shares rose 0.6% and South Korea’s KOSPI added 0.5%.
Chinese shares, however, were weaker with the bluechip CSI300 index down about 1% after a strong rally last week.
“The U.S. economy is experiencing the first effects of a powerful double-dose vaccine of broad inoculation…