Wednesday, October 27, 2010

STOCKS NEWS ASIA-Shares to make firmer start; results eyed

WELLINGTON: Asian stocks are likely to post modest gains on Wednesday, Oct 27 after investor caution stalled Wall Street, and regional attention turns to a host of corporate earnings.

The main Wall Street indexes ranged from flat to 0.3 percent higher, as investors eyed looming event risk next week from U.S. elections and a Federal Reserve meeting.

The Fed's review has dominated thinking for the past few weeks, and the U.S. dollar rose on views that the size of the expected quantitative easing might be smaller than previously though.

The U.S. market nudged into positive territory as a survey showed a rise in consumer confidence in October, although earnings reports provided a mixed view.

Earnings will be a major focus for Asian investors on Wednesday, with a host of top Japanese and Chinese companies reporting, while Australia's largest lender, National Australia Bank earlier reported a second half profit ahead of forecasts.

Asian stocks listed on Wall Street <.BKAS> fell 0.57 percent.

British shares <.FTSE> fell 0.8 percent while European shares <.FTEU3> lost 0.2 percent, with banks leading the losses after a loss at UBS's investment bank.

The greenback rebounded from a 15-year low against the yen after a Japanese minister warned authorities could act to stem further gains in the currency.

Japanese markets are seen opening higher, buoyed by the weaker yen, with Nikkei futures traded in Chicago <2NKc1> 95 points above the last closing level in Osaka .

Australian shares are seen flat, with share index futures down 4 points to 4,685, virtually unchanged from the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index <.AXJO>. - Reuters

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