* Spreadbetters expect mixed start in Europe; Alcoa earnings
* MSCI-Asia pulls away from 3-yr high to 1-week low
* Wall Street losses cast deep shadow on Asian shares
* China's yuan at 3-month high despite cooler inflation
By Lisa Twaronite
TOKYO, July 9 Asian stocks extended losses to a
one-week low on Wednesday after China's consumer price inflation
cooled slightly more than expected in June, pointing to
lingering weakness in the economy.
Spreadbetters predicted mixed openings in Europe, where
markets were likely to get some support after Alcoa Inc
reported quarterly results late in the U.S. session that beat
Later on Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve will release
minutes of its latest policy meeting, and European Central Bank
officials including President Mario Draghi are scheduled to
"Despite Alcoa kicking off earnings season to a good start
and the expectations of a dovish FOMC statement this evening,
the bulls still seem to be in disarray after the kicking they've
taken over the last two days," Capital Spreads trader Jonathan
Sudaria wrote in a note to clients.
Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100
to open down by 3-4 points, or 0.1 percent. But they predicted
Germany's DAX would open up by 21-23 points, or 0.2
percent, while France's CAC was seen rising 9-13 points,
or 0.2-0.3 percent.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
was down about 0.8 percent, touching its lowest
point since July 2 and pulling away from this week's three-year
highs. Japan's Nikkei stock average ended down 0.1
percent, pulling off its lows as the yen's gains unravelled.
China's consumer price index (CPI) rose 2.3 percent in June
from a year earlier, shy of the consensus forecast of 2.4
"The weaker CPI reading suggests inflation pressure is
muted. It provides further room for policy easing in the future
on the one hand, and also signals the weak demand from the
domestic economy on the other hand," said Wang Jun, an economist
at the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges in
Despite the price data, China guided its yuan towards a
three-month high against the dollar in what traders said was
possibly a political move as China and the United States started
their annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
Before the Alcoa results, Wall Street sagged as investors
turned cautious before the start of earnings season. The
Standard & Poor's 500 index shed 0.7 percent.
FED ON ICE
Upbeat June employment data last week has prompted some Wall
Street economists to predict the U.S. Federal Reserve would
raise interest rates earlier than previously thought.
But Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Narayana
Kocherlakota said the labour market had a long way to go before
the Fed reached its goals.
Kathy Lien, managing director of currency strategy at BK
Asset Management, said in a note to clients: "Unlike other
central banks who have recently expressed their desire to become
more active, the Fed remains comfortable with their current
course and has no desire to alter (the) market's expectations."
The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield stood at
2.564 percent in Asia, not far from Tuesday's U.S. close of
Downbeat German economic data on Tuesday increased the
appeal of relatively higher-yielding Treasuries, as it gave
investors reason to believe the European Central Bank could take
further easing steps to support the euro zone economy.
Germany posted larger-than-forecast falls in exports and
imports in May, suggesting Europe's largest economy is showing
signs of weakness.
The euro was steady in Asian trade at $1.3618.
Against the yen, the greenback clawed its way to a slight
gain on the day after touching a one-week low of 101.44 yen
. It last stood at 101.63, up about 0.1 percent, which
helped the dollar index stabilise around 80.150.
In commodities trading, U.S. oil inched up about 0.1
percent to $103.51 per barrel after slipping for eight straight
sessions as global supply fears eased. Brent crude edged
down to $108.93 a barrel.
Gold rose about 0.4 percent on the day to $1,324.00
an ounce as markets waited for the Fed minutes.
(Additional reporting by Aileen Wang in Beijing; Editing by
Kim Coghill, Eric Meijer and Alan Raybould)