Asian shares seen rising, weak data pressures euro

by Apr 24, 2013

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares are set to track global equities higher on Wednesday, but the euro remained under pressure despite a modest recovery after soft German data underscored the still-fragile state of the euro zone economy.

After the bell on Wall Street, Apple (AAPL.O) shares rose 3.8 percent after the company reported better-than-expected second-quarter revenue of $43.6 billion, reflecting strong sales of the iPad and iPhone.

According to Westpack bank, 72.8 percent of the 147 Standard & Poor's 500 companies reporting so far beat consensus on earnings.

"Equities were underpinned by positive reports on corporate earnings and U.S. housing, some indications of progress in the Italian political arena, and perceptions that economic weakness in Europe may promote a further easing of monetary policy by the European Central Bank," Barclays Capital said in a research.

The euro was around $1.3000, managing to recover from Tuesday's two-week low of $1.2973 hit after a survey showed Germany, the euro zone's largest economy, saw business activity decline in April for the first time in five months. Traders saw it as strengthening the case for the European Central Bank to cut interest rates.

The upside for the single currency was limited given the potential for an ECB rate cut and lingering concerns about the growth outlook in the recession-hit euro-zone.

In Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.3 percent on Tuesday after the preliminary or "flash" China HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index for April fell to 50.5 from 51.6 in March, as a contraction in new export orders pointed to fragile global demand.

The pan-Asian index was likely to be supported on Wednesday, with Australian shares seen opening higher.

Japan's Nikkei stock average is also expected to open higher in response to the firmness in U.S. equities, as well as a pause in the yen's firmness.

The dollar was down 0.1 percent at 99.41 yen, struggling to break above the key 100-yen mark due to weak U.S. economic reports, but traders say the upcoming Bank of Japan meeting on Friday may provide an opportunity to clear that symbolic level.

U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday, recovering from sharp declines sparked by a "bogus" Associated Press tweet about explosions at the White House, shrugging off data showing U.S. manufacturing grew at its most sluggish pace in six months.

European shares posted their biggest one-day gain in seven months.

Earlier in the Asian session on Wednesday, New Zealand's central bank held its benchmark interest rate at a record low 2.5 percent for the 17th straight review, reaffirming it expects to be on hold for the rest of the year as the economy picks up and inflation remains tame.

U.S. crude futures were up 0.3 percent at $89.44 a barrel early on Wednesday.


PMIs vs GDP:

U.S. Markit Flash PMI:

Italy deadlock near end, problems remain:

Firstpost encourages open discussion and debate, but please adhere to the rules below, before posting. Comments that are found to be in violation of any one or more of the guidelines will be automatically deleted:

Personal attacks/name calling will not be tolerated. This applies to comments directed at the author, other commenters and other politicians/public figures

Please do not post comments that target a specific community, caste, nationality or religion.

While you do not have to use your real name, any commenters using any Firstpost writer's name will be deleted, and the commenter banned from participating in any future discussions.

Comments will be moderated for abusive and offensive language.

Please read our comments and moderation policy before posting