TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks slipped early on Wednesday, taking cues from an overnight decline on Wall Street while a wait-and-see mood prevailed ahead of a policy statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve due later in the day.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS declined by 0.3 percent.
Australian shares lost 0.3 percent.
On Wall Street, the Dow .DJI fell 0.2 percent and the S&P 500 .SPX retreated 0.3 percent.
Closely watched earnings from Apple Inc (AAPL.O) released late on Tuesday showed the company paint a rosy picture for its new iPhones but a quarterly slowdown of overall sales in China cast doubt on the robustness of Apple’s legendary profitability.
Apple shares initially rose after hours as it beat sales and profit forecasts, but they gave up those gains later as concerns crept in.
In currencies, the dollar treaded water against the yen and euro before the Fed’s policy decision is known.
“No one expects the Federal Reserve to hike on Wednesday and we would not be surprised if they refrained from providing any clear signal about their intention to raise interest rates before the end of the year,” wrote Kathy Lien, director of FX strategy for BK Asset Management.
Focus fell on the Fed’s stance after the European Central Bank opened the door for more easing and China cut rates and reserve requirements.
“While it can be argued that stimulus abroad is good for U.S. markets and makes it easier for the Fed to raise interest rates in December, the reasons why these central banks are easing and the consequences for the dollar could also deter them from tightening,” said BK Asset Management’s Lien. The dollar was steady at 120.43 yen JPY= while the euro was nearly flat at $1.1038 EUR=.
Commodity currencies such as the Canadian and Australian dollars did not fare as well, hit by a slide in crude oil prices.
The dollar was steady at C$1.3272 CAD=D4 after surging 0.9 percent overnight. The Aussie struggled near a 3-week low of$0.7178 AUD=D4 hit overnight.
U.S. crude oil fetched $43.30 a barrel after sliding 1.7 percent overnight ahead of data expected to confirm the persistent supply glut dogging the market.
Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Eric Meijer