* Asia shares steady, Aussie shares at 5-yr high for 3rd day
* Dollar steady against euro, yen after recent battering
* U.S. nonfarm payrolls due out at 1230 GMT
By Dominic Lau
TOKYO, Oct 22 Asian shares steadied at a
five-month high and a recently battered dollar stabilised ahead
of a key U.S. jobs report later on Tuesday that will give clues
as to whether the Federal Reserve will start withdrawing
stimulus this year.
The data was originally scheduled for Oct. 4 but its release
was delayed by the 16-day U.S. government shutdown.
Many analysts expect the U.S. central bank to delay
unwinding the $85 billion-a-month programme given the government
shutdown and the possibility of another bitter U.S. budget fight
between Democrats and Republicans early next year.
"We doubt that the data, even if strong, can reverse the
more dovish sentiment about the Fed," analysts from Societe
Generale wrote in a note, adding that the data did not capture
the impact of the two-week shutdown.
A senior Fed official said on Monday that it will be "tough"
for the Fed to have sufficient confidence in the strength of the
U.S. recovery by its meeting in December to start reducing its
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
was flat after climbing to a five-month peak on
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 inched up 0.2 percent,
hitting a five-year high for a third day in a row. It was on
track to log a sixth-day of gains, which will be its longest
such run since July.
Investors may be reluctant to make aggressive bets, however,
after U.S. stocks ended little changed overnight, partly on
concerns that equities have become overpriced after the Standard
& Poor's 500 index's run to record highs last week.
According to Thomson Reuters Datastream, the S&P 500 index
carried a 12-month forward price-to-earnings ratio of 14.5,
above a 10-year average of 14.
Economists in a Reuters survey forecast 180,000 jobs were
added in September compared with 169,000 jobs created in August,
while the unemployment rate is expected to remain at 7.3
"A reading anywhere in the 160,000 to 190,000 range would
probably be fairly neutral with respect to near-term U.S. dollar
direction given the data pre-dates any impact from the October
shutdown," analysts from BNP Paribas wrote in a note
"We remain short euro/dollar and sterling/dollar heading
into the release, looking for gradual improvement in U.S. data
and dovish messaging from European policy makers to revive the
policy divergence theme which benefited the dollar in the second
quarter," they added.
The dollar was at $1.3674 to the euro, off an
eight-month low of $1.3704 marked on Friday, and was holding
steady at 98.18 yen after bouncing 0.4 percent in the
Against a basket of major currencies, the dollar
gained a touch.
U.S. crude prices dipped 0.2 percent to about $99 a
barrel, hitting a near four-month low and adding to the previous
session's 1.6 percent decline.
Gold was little changed at around $1,313.7 an ounce.