* Asia shares follow overnight Wall Street slide
* Indian shares, rupee jump on election expectations
* Spreadbetters see European shares open slightly up
* U.S. yields hit 6-months lows, weigh on dollar
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO, May 16 Asian shares came under pressure
on Friday, with Japanese stocks skidding as the yen rose against
the dollar, which has struggled in recent days as U.S. Treasury
A second day of losses on Wall Street pulled MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down
0.1 percent. The index has gained about 2 percent on the week
during which Wall Street climbed to record highs.
Financial spreadbetters predicted a essentially flat to
fractionally higher open for European shares, with Britain's
FTSE expected to open up to 0.03 percent higher,
Germany's DAX to open up 0.04 percent and France's CAC
to open 0.2 percent higher.
Tokyo's Nikkei stock average dropped 1.9 percent,
dragged lower by the yen's gains against the dollar, which could
put pressure on the earnings of Japanese exporters. The Nikkei
has shed 1 percent this week.
Indian shares touched a new record high and the
rupee strengthened to an 10-month peak against the
dollar, boosted by early results in India's election that put
the business-friendly opposition on course for an absolute
"With political uncertainty cleared, the rupee's outlook is
getting brighter. It will also benefit from more carry-trades,"
said Yuna Park, a currency and bond analyst at Dongbu Securities
The dollar traded little changed at 101.46 yen, off a
two-month low of 101.31 yen hit Thursday on the back of a
continued decline in U.S. Treasury yields. The dollar is poised
to end the week about 0.25 percent lower versus the Japanese
Benchmark U.S. Treasuries yields fell to six-month lows on
Thursday after Greek government bonds weakened and sparked a
safety-bid for U.S. debt, even though U.S. economic data pointed
to a firming economy.
"U.S. yields may not stabilize until we have consistent
improvements in U.S. data, which means that for the time being,
the trend in the greenback could still be lower," Kathy Lien,
managing director of FX strategy for BK Asset Management, wrote
in a note to clients.
The dollar has fared better against the euro, with the
common currency poised to lose about 0.3 percent on the week,
weighed down by expectations the European Central Bank will
ease monetary policy in June.
Weak euro zone GDP and muted inflation data further fuelled
easing expectations on Thursday.
The euro traded little-changed at $1.3710 after
dropping to a 2-1/2-month low of $1.3648 on Thursday on ECB
In commodities, gold stood little-changed at
$1,296.35 an ounce following a fall of almost 1 percent on
Thursday after a drop below the $1,300 threshold triggered
technical selling. Upbeat U.S. jobless claims data and consumer
prices also reduced gold's safe-haven appeal.
Nickel on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 0.8 percent
to $18,899 a tonne after having slumped more than 6
percent on Thursday. Nickel is still up 35 percent this year.
LME copper also traded flat from the previous
session at $6,878.25 a tonne, and down from Wednesday's
two-month peak of $6,940 a tonne. Copper was on track for a
weekly gain of around 2 percent, its biggest weekly advance in
Copper prices have been underpinned by tight supply and
falling stocks in the peak season for demand. However,
consumption is set to slow from next month, dragging on copper's
U.S. crude futures rose on Friday, heading for their biggest
weekly gain in five weeks on the back of a resurgence in Ukraine
tensions and upbeat U.S. economic data. U.S. crude for June
delivery was up 37 cents at $101.87 a barrel.
(Additional reporting by Jongwoo Cheon in Singapore; Editing by