TOKYO Jan 14 Asian shares dipped on Tuesday,
hurt by a tumble on Wall Street, while the dollar hovered near a
four-week low against the yen as last week's surprisingly weak
jobs report raised concerns about the U.S. growth outlook.
Tokyo's Nikkei benchmark was set to fall sharply,
with futures down 2.7 percent, as the yen strengthened on the
back of the nonfarm payroll report. Monday was a public holiday
The Nikkei, like Wall Street, has got off to a slow start to
the year after a stellar 2013, with a 57 percent jump.
"Given the extent of positions in the market and continued
softness in U.S. yields this week, USD/JPY could continue to
test lower near-term," analysts at BNP Paribas wrote in a note.
"However, bearish JPY remains a high conviction view for
many market participants and we expect the pair to find buying
interest ahead of 101.50," they added.
The announcement of a $13.6 billion deal by Japan's Suntary
Holdings Ltd to buy U.S. spirits company Beam Inc
may offer some support to the dollar versus the
Dollar/yen was one of the strongest-performing major
currency pairs last year, and many hedge funds have been betting
the trend will continue as the Federal Reserve cuts back its
huge bond-buying programme while the Bank of Japan remains
committed to providing stimulus.
The dollar was steady at 103.05 yen, having fallen
1.1 percent overnight, its biggest one-day slide since Sept. 18.
Against the Australian dollar, the greenback
languished near a four-week low of $0.9055. The euro was
little changed at $1.3668, however.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
was off 0.1 percent after gaining 0.8 percent in
the previous session as the disappointing U.S. jobs report added
to the case for the Fed to keep rates low for longer.
Overnight, U.S. stocks tumbled on caution ahead of corporate
results, as mounting negative pre-announcements left a
lacklustre profit growth outlook, with the Standard & Poor's 500
off 1.3 percent.
According to Thomson Reuters, almost 10 out of every 11
earnings pre-announcements for the current reporting season from
S&P 500 companies have lowered estimates.
U.S. banks are in the spotlight this week, with JPMorgan
Chase & Co, Bank of America, Citigroup and
Goldman Sachs reporting quarterly earnings.
Among commodities, gold hovered near a four-week high
at $1,252.15 per ounce, having gained 0.5 percent overnight to
extend Friday's 1.6 percent rally following the disappointing
U.S. employment report.
U.S. crude futures dipped 0.2 percent to $91.63 a
barrel, adding to Monday's 1 percent drop after news of a deal
between Western powers and Iran to curb the OPEC country's
nuclear programme and as production resumed from Libya and a key
North Sea oilfield.