Asian shares wilt in shadow of Wall Street's earnings woes

TOKYO: Asian stocks skidded on Wednesday after earnings dragged down US equities, while the dollar edged away from highs hit earlier this week.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan extended losses and was down about 1 percent.

S&P 500 mini futures were down about 0.4 percent from late US levels, after US equities tumbled on weak earnings from bellwethers IBM and United Technologies, while Apple Inc slumped in late trading after posting its results.

Japan's Nikkei stock index dropped 1.3 percent on track to snap its six-day rising streak, and pulling away from Tuesday's nearly four-week closing high as the Apple news reverberated on related tech shares.

"Since the market had been rising, such bad news can take a toll," said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities. "But the impact from Apple's weak forecast should not drag on."

Spot gold shed about 0.6 percent on the day to $1,094.50 per ounce, after plunging to five-year lows on Monday as investors unloaded bullion against a backdrop of improving risk sentiment as Greece agreed on a plan with its creditors that will keep it in the euro zone for now.

"Our commodities strategists believe gold should range-trade around current levels, but they do not dismiss the possibility of further price falls, given the lack of safe-haven interest," strategists at Barclays wrote in a note to clients on Wednesday.

Standard & Poor's on Tuesday upgraded Greece's sovereign credit rating by two notches and revised its outlook to stable from negative, citing euro zone countries' initial agreement to start negotiations with Athens on a third bailout.

The euro edged down about 0.1 percent on the day to $1.0927, edging back toward Monday's three-month low of $1.0808.

The dollar index rose about 0.1 percent to 97.392 after rising as high as 98.151 in the previous session, its highest level since late April.

The dollar edged down about 0.2 percent against the yen to 123.69 yen after scaling a six-week high of 124.48 yen on Tuesday.

Crude oil futures remained under pressure as investors worried about ample supply.

US crude was down 1.6 percent at $50.05, while Brent shed about 1 percent to $56.50.