GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares subdued, euro steady before ECB

Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:24pm EDT
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* MSCI Asia-Pacific index dips 0.1 pct in early trade

* Euro holds ground with ECB not expected to act this week

* Commodities stay under pressure on China growth unease

By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Asian equities got off to a sluggish start on Wednesday as concerns about corporate earnings hobbled Wall Street while investors counted down to the European Central Bank's policy meeting later in the week.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan drifted off 0.07 percent. Australian stocks lost 0.2 percent as worries about China weighed on commodity prices.

There was little in the way of a lead from Wall Street where the Dow ended Tuesday 0.1 percent lower, while the S&P 500 eased 0.14 percent and the Nasdaq 0.5 percent.

The S&P healthcare sector shed 1.5 percent, dragged by Allergan and Pfizer, while a drop in IBM offset gains in companies that reported strong quarterly results such as Verizon and United Technologies.

Earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to have fallen about 4 percent in the third quarter, while revenue is expected to have declined 3.8 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.   Continued...