* MSCI Asia ex-Japan slides 0.9 pct, Nikkei slips to 4-week
* Euro at 2-month low vs dollar, dollar index at 2-month
* Oil, copper, gold slip as risk shunned
* Uncertainties seen in U.S. fiscal cliff, EU debt
* Markets also want to see new China leadership line up
* European shares likely decline
By Chikako Mogi
TOKYO, Nov 13 Asian shares and commodities
pulled back on Tuesday on uncertainty over the U.S. fiscal row
and the euro zone debt crisis, where global lenders stopped
short of giving further aid to debt-stricken Greece.
A 0.6 percent easing in U.S. stock futures point to a
weak Wall Street open, and expectations that European shares
will slip, with financial spreadbetters predicting London's FTSE
100, Paris's CAC-40 and Frankfurt's DAX
will open down 0.4 percent.
The euro dropped 0.3 percent to a two-month low of $1.2673
, which hoisted the dollar index to a two-month high of
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
fell 1 percent to a seven-week low in a decline
led by growth-sensitive energy and materials
Worries about weak global demand, underscored on Monday by
data showing Japan's economy shrank, and the firmer dollar
weighed on commodities prices and some regional share indexes
such as resource-rich Australia which fell 1.5 percent
to a seven-week low.
Japan's Nikkei average gave up early gains to end
down 0.2 percent at a four-week low, a seventh straight session
"Investors can't assess the extent of the impact from the
fiscal cliff and it could be months before the issue is settled,
so this uncertainty is keeping investors guarded," said Yuuki
Sakurai, chief executive of Fukoku Capital Management.
"This, along with Europe continuing to muddle through its
fiscal problems, is putting downside pressure on markets."
U.S. lawmakers return to the capital on Tuesday. Analysts
say a failure to act on a scheduled $600 billion in tax
increases and government spending cuts due early next year could
tip the United States back into a recession.
Greece's international lenders agreed on Monday to give
Athens two more years to meet budget targets but euro zone
finance ministers did not disburse more aid. Euro zone finance
ministers will meet again on Nov. 20 to discuss Greece.
Sakurai said market caution over the leadership transition
in China this week is offsetting more bullish sentiment from
recent data suggesting a pick up in the economy. Investors want
to see the political change completed without any problems and
the shape of the new leaders' policies, he said.
Onshore Chinese shares slid to their lowest since Sept. 28
and weighed on Hong Kong stocks after state media reported that
housing market curbs will remain. Hong Kong shed 0.8
percent and Shanghai lost 1.3 percent.
Investors are taking the continuation of housing curbs "as
perhaps a sign there won't be any loosening or changes in
Beijing's economic policy positions in the near term," said Hong
Hao, chief equity strategist at Bank of Communications
Reflecting the slight risk aversion, Asian credit market
spreads on the iTraxx Asia ex-Japan investment-grade index
widened by 1 basis point.
Safe-haven U.S. Treasuries rose in Asia on Tuesday, with
10-year yields falling to 1.589 percent from 1.613
percent in late U.S. trade on Friday. U.S. Treasury market was
closed on Monday for the Veterans' Day holiday.
U.S. crude futures fell 0.6 percent to $85.05 a
barrel and Brent dropped 0.6 percent to $108.46.
"There is plenty of oil and the market is well supplied, but
the economic outlook both in the United States and Europe is
weak and that's putting downward pressure on prices," said Ken
Hasegawa, a commodity sales manager at Newedge Japan.
London copper eased 0.4 percent to $7,605 a tonne
and gold inched down 0.1 percent to $1,725.45 an ounce,
having failed to test last week's high around $1,738.
"I think there's some disappointed selling. Of course a
strong dollar also affects gold a little bit," said Ronald
Leung, director of Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
Analysts have said commodities are under pressure from hedge
fund selling as they close their books for the year.