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Asian shares dip on mixed US earnings, euro off 2-year low as ECB holds

Investors look at screens showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai, China. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Tokyo, Japan Jul 26, 2019, 09.18 AM (IST)

Asian share prices opened a tad lower on Friday on mixed US 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 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 rose 8.4%, Intel Corp 5.6% and Starbucks 6.4%. Amazon, however, dipped 1.7% on its first profit miss in two years.

US stock futures were little changed in Asia.

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

"Still, with US 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 signalled 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 per cent but ended the day up slightly at minus 0.407 per cent.

The US 10-year Treasuries yield also rose 3 basis points to 2.079 per cent on Thursday and traded at 2.107 per cent in the following Asian session.

Also helping to stem falls in bond yields, new orders for key US-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 US crude stockpiles, though gains were held in check by worries about slowing growth in major economies.

Story highlights

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