* Asian shares fall ahead of U.S. Q3 GDP, Tokyo also slips
* Euro holds near 1-week high vs dollar, ECB meeting on
* Friday jobs data may have clues to Fed view on stimulus
By Dominic Lau
TOKYO, Nov 7 Asian stocks struggled on Thursday
as investors waited for stimulus-sensitive U.S. payroll data,
although the euro perked up ahead of the European Central Bank's
The Australian dollar slipped after a weak labour force
report showed a big fall in full-time employment -- undermining
a popular view that the Reserve Bank of Australia has finished
cutting interest rates.
All eyes will be on Friday's nonfarm payrolls data for a
chance to gauge when the Federal Reserve might begin winding
down its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying programme, which is
linked to falling unemployment.
Before that, investors will look to the first reading of
U.S. third-quarter GDP data later in the day. Economists in a
Reuters survey forecast a 2.0 percent annualised rate of growth
compared with 2.5 percent in the second quarter.
"Buying is paused now as investors are looking for fresh
macro cues," said Isao Kubo, equity strategist at Nissay Asset
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
dipped 0.4 percent after ending flat on
Wednesday to break a four-day run of losses.
Japan's Nikkei share average eased 0.4 percent.
The euro hovered near one-week highs against the dollar as
strong German data prompted investors to scale back expectations
of an ECB rate cut at its policy meeting later in the global
"Had the PMIs stepped down sharply, the ECB could have
justified a cut, especially given last week's inflation print,"
analysts at JPMorgan wrote in a note.
"The recent data enables them to wait till December and
announce the rate cut as part of their broader inflation/growth
The euro was steady at $1.3515, having risen 0.3
percent on Wednesday on the slight shift in expectations.
Against a basket of major currencies, the dollar was
little changed after falling 0.2 percent in the previous
The euro was also aided by new research papers from two top
Fed economists calling for the U.S. central bank to drive down
unemployment by promising to hold interest rates lower for
That helped drive U.S. stocks firmer overnight, with the Dow
Jones industrial average at a record high, while the S&P
500 index closed shy of its own record.
U.S. S&P E-mini futures dipped 0.2 percent in Asian
trade on Thursday.
Australian shares slipped 0.4 percent as index
heavyweights National Australia Bank Ltd and Australia
and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd traded ex-dividend.
The Australian dollar shed 0.6 percent to $0.9469
after news just 1,100 net new jobs were created in October, with
a severe fall in full-time places.
Among commodities, U.S. crude prices added 0.1
percent to around $94.9 a barrel, building on Wednesday's 1.7
percent gain from four-month lows on an unexpectedly large fall
in U.S. fuel supplies.
Gold edged down 0.1 percent to about $1,31.6.5 an
ounce, pausing after gaining 0.5 percent overnight.