* Goldman, Citi downbeat earnings drag on U.S. shares, weigh
* Oil rises, showing some remain optimistic on global growth
* Aussie dollar remains under pressure after jobs data shock
By Lisa Twaronite
TOKYO, Jan 17 Stocks got off to a lacklustre
start and the dollar was on the back foot in early Asian trading
on Friday after downbeat results cast a shadow over Wall Street.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
was slightly lower, while Australian shares
slipped about 0.3 percent.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a
basket of six major currencies, was last down 0.1 percent at
The greenback slipped 0.1 percent to 104.26 yen, but
remained well off a four-week low of 102.85 set on Monday.
Against the euro, the dollar treaded water at $1.3613.
On Thursday, the Standard & Poor's 500 backed away
from a record high struck in the previous session, after
disappointing earnings from banks including Goldman Sachs
and Citigroup Inc, though some noted that the broader
impact was limited.
"The market has not made much of the news with regard to
global growth, though, as oil prices remained broadly unchanged
and non-financial stocks broadly outperformed," strategists at
Barclays said in a note to clients.
U.S. crude futures rose about 0.1 percent to $94.06 a
barrel, not far from a two-week peak of $94.64 reached earlier
this week after U.S. government data showed a
larger-than-expected drop in inventories.
Markets were caught off guard last Friday when data showed
U.S. jobs growth unexpectedly weakened, but concerns about the
health of the world's largest economy were soon dispelled by
subsequent upbeat data, including robust consumer spending.
Thursday's U.S. data showed the Philadelphia Fed's index of
business conditions in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region fell to its
lowest level since April, while consumer prices rose the most in
six months in December, in line with expectations.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment
benefits fell for a second week last week.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar slumped slightly to $0.8816
, after it shed more than 1 percent on Thursday to
$0.8777 -- a low not seen since August 2010. Traders said good
buying interest below 88 U.S. cents should provide some support
The Aussie plunged after data showed Australia's economy
shed 22,600 jobs in December, when economists had expected a