Asian shares dip on mixed U.S. earnings, euro off two-year low as ECB holds By Reuters


By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian share prices opened a tad lower on Friday on mixed U.S. earnings reports and the euro held above two-year lows struck overnight after the European Central Bank held interest rates steady, though officials said a cut was certain in September.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan () was down 0.15% while Japan’s Nikkei () dipped 0.3%.

Wall Street shares fell from record highs on Thursday, with the S&P 500 () losing 0.53%, following a flurry of downbeat quarterly results from Ford Motor (N:) and other companies.

But several companies that announced their results after the market had closed on Thursday generally beat market expectations, and their shares rose in after-hours trade.

Google parent Alphabet (O:) rose 8.4%, Intel Corp (O:) 5.6% and Starbucks (O:) 6.4%. Amazon (O:), however, dipped 1.7% on its first profit miss in two years.

U.S. stock futures () were little changed in Asia.

“Some capital goods makers have reported soft earnings but otherwise U.S. earnings have been generally good, partly because investors had already lowered their expectations,” said Hitoshi Asaoka, senior strategist at Asset Management One.

“Still, with U.S. share prices already at record levels, further gains are likely to be limited unless we see clearer signs of recovery in global demand,” he said.

A rally in global bonds ran out of steam after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi cautioned about pulling the trigger too quickly even though he signaled another round of monetary easing.

ECB Officials told Reuters after the meeting that an interest rate cut in September appeared certain, while government bond purchases and a revamped policy message were also likely.

The euro’s overnight index swaps are pricing in a cut of more than 10 basis points in September.

The 10-year German government bond yield () initially hit a record low of minus 0.463 percent but ended the day up slightly at minus 0.407 percent.

The U.S. 10-year Treasuries yield also rose 3 basis points to 2.079 percent () on Thursday and traded at 2.107 percent in the following Asian session.

Also helping to stem falls in bond yields, new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods surged in June, suggesting some improvement in business investment.

In the currency market, the euro bounced back to at $1.11465 () in Asian trade, after sinking to $1.1101 on Thursday, its lowest since May 2017.

The yen was little changed against the dollar at 108.67 yen per dollar .

Oil prices held firm on rising tensions between the West and Iran and a big decline in U.S. crude stockpiles, though gains were held in check by worries about slowing growth in major economies.

U.S. crude () ticked up 0.09% to $56.07 a barrel.

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