GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares drift lower, India surprises with rate cut

Wed Mar 4, 2015 2:00am EST
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* Spreadbetters see brighter openings for European bourses

* Dollar edges up vs EUR ahead of Thursday's ECB meeting

* India central bank surprises with rate cut

* Bank of Canada seen holding policy steady

By Lisa Twaronite

TOKYO, March 4 (Reuters) - Asian shares fell on Wednesday as investors grew cautious before upcoming central bank meetings and U.S. jobs data, while India's central bank surprised with its second inter-meeting rate cut this year.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down about 0.3 percent, while Japan's Nikkei stock average ended down 0.6 percent as investors locked in gains from its recent rise to 15-year highs.

Financial spreadbetters expected a brighter open for Europe, with Britain's FTSE 100 seen opening up 0.2 percent, Germany's DAX 0.2 percent higher, and France's CAC 40 up 0.3 percent.

Investors remained cautious ahead of U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for February, which could provide clues about the timing of the U.S. Federal Reserve's interest rate hike.   Continued...