* Markets tense before China data, GDP growth seen at 7.6
* Dollar holds gains on euro, steady vs yen
* Deutsche Bank reports Q4 loss, releases results early
By Wayne Cole
SYDNEY, Jan 20 Asian markets were in a hesitant
mood on Monday ahead of figures that are expected to show a
slight slowdown in regional powerhouse China, while Deutsche
Bank soured sentiment by reporting a surprise loss and falling
In muted early action MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific
shares outside Japan dipped 0.2 percent, and
Australia's market eased 0.3 percent.
Liquidity was lacking with U.S. markets closed on Monday for
a holiday. Neither was there much of a lead from Wall Street
where the Dow ended last week with a slim gain of 0.1
percent, while the S&P 500 lost 0.2 percent for the week.
Investors were nervous ahead of China's fourth quarter gross
domestic product (GDP) report, due at 0200 GMT, in case it
surprised on the downside.
The median forecast of 24 economists polled by Reuters was
for growth of 7.6 percent from a year earlier, down from 7.8
percent in the third quarter.
Analysts at Commonwealth Bank of Australia were more upbeat,
predicting a steady outcome of 7.8 percent.
"The key December indicators, such as new loans and rail
transportation point to continued growth momentum in the final
quarter of 2013," CBA said in a note.
They were also optimistic on China's retail sales. While the
consensus was for a dip in annual growth to 13.6 percent, CBA
looked for a pick up to 13.9 percent.
Industrial production is seen rising 9.8 percent in
December, from a year earlier, compared with 10 percent the
China is Australia's single biggest export market so any
weakness in the data will likely pile pressure on the Australian
dollar, which is already at its lowest since mid-2010.
Early Monday, the Aussie was pinned at $0.8776
having shed 2.4 percent last week.
In contrast the U.S. dollar gained 0.9 percent last week
against a basket of major currencies amid
expectations the Federal Reserve will stick with plans to scale
back its bond buying at a policy meeting later this month.
The dollar was also firm on the euro at $1.3527,
after touching a seven-week high on Friday, but flat on the yen
The Bank of Japan holds its policy meeting on Tuesday and
Wednesday and is expected to maintain its massive asset buying
DEUTSCHE HIT BY FINES
Deutsche Bank started the week by reporting a
surprise pre-tax loss of 1.15 billion euros for the fourth
quarter of 2013 due to heavy costs for litigation, restructuring
and balance sheet reduction.
The bank was originally scheduled to report its results on
Jan. 29, but the Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that a
profit warning was possible.
The unexpected loss is likely to compound the problems that
have dogged the bank over the past year, especially a
lengthening list of lawsuits and regulatory matters, and
redouble pressure on co-chief executives Anshu Jain and Juergen
Fitschen to prove their turnaround plan is on track.
Deutsche Bank's U.S.-listed shares closed down 3 percent at
$52.27 on Friday.
The EU's quarterly earnings season goes up a gear this week.
STOXX Europe 600 companies are seen missing consensus
by 0.4 percent on revenues and by 0.9 percent on earnings,
according to StarMine SmartEstimates, which focuses on the
predictions by the most accurate analysts.
In commodity markets, spot gold made an early push to
a five-week peak of $1,258.56 an ounce, thanks in part to talk
of strong physical demand from Asia.
Brent crude oil for March delivery was off 12 cents
at $106.36 a barrel, while U.S. crude was quoted 32 cents
lower at $94.05.