(Corrects quote attribution in paragraph six to Carlos
* MSCI Asia ex-Japan -0.31% in afternoon trade
* Europe equity futures point to fourth day of losses
* U.S. stimulus deal seen 'elusive' before Nov. 3 election
* Asian stock markets: https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4
SHANGHAI, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Asian shares fell on Thursday
and the dollar edged higher as investors fretted over the slow
pace of U.S. stimulus talks and a surge in global cases of
The falls in Asia looked set to continue in Europe, putting
European shares on track for a fourth straight session in the
In early European trade, pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures
were down 0.5%, German DAX futures shed 0.52%
and FTSE futures slipped 0.39% to 5,722.5
Global investor sentiment has taken a fresh hit after U.S.
President Donald Trump accused Democrats on Wednesday of being
unwilling to craft an acceptable compromise on fresh stimulus,
following reports of progress earlier in the day.
It remains unclear whether stimulus negotiations would
continue ahead of the U.S. presidential and congressional
elections on Nov. 3.
"We still think that this deal will remain elusive in the
sense that this amount that we are talking about, $1.88
trillion, that's about 9% of GDP, and 2.2 trillion which is
Speaker Pelosi's package, is even higher at around 10% of GDP,"
said Carlos Casanova, senior economist for Asia at Union
Bancaire Privee (UBP) in Hong Kong.
"Even if both sides do manage to reach an agreement, given
the tight deadline ahead of the election it's unlikely that
something like that would be able to go through the Senate
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
was down 0.31%, while the Nikkei was
Australian shares gave up 0.29%, Seoul's Kospi
was off 0.87% and Chinese blue-chips lost
Uncertainty over the passage of a bill to stimulate a
pandemic-ravaged economy comes as the United States faces a new
wave of COVID-19 cases.
Nearly two-thirds of U.S. states were in a danger zone of
coronavirus spread and six, including election battleground
Wisconsin, reported a record one-day increase in COVID-19 deaths
Against that backdrop, Wall Street's three major averages
closed lower on Wednesday after a choppy trading session.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched lower by
0.35%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.22%. The tech-heavy
Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.28%.
On Thursday, the dollar was 0.1% higher against the yen at
104.66, while the euro notched down 0.12% to
But against a basket of major peers, the dollar
appeared relatively unaffected by setbacks to stimulus talks,
trading only slightly higher at 92.736, steadying after touching
a seven-week low.
"Markets are now pricing in a strong likelihood of a Biden
Presidency perhaps even a clean sweep of Congress, and this is
weighing on the USD, as they view a less confrontational trade
environment. They will also probably be factoring in a large
fiscal stimulus early next year, with none of the hold up that
is currently preventing a deal," Rob Carnell, chief economist at
ING in Singapore said in a note.
The yield on benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury notes
ticked down to 0.8092% from a U.S. close of 0.816%
In commodity markets, oil prices extended sharp losses
overnight, after higher U.S. gasoline inventories pointed to
deteriorating fuel demand as coronavirus cases soar.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell
0.37% to $39.88 a barrel and Brent crude futures were
0.31% lower at $41.60.
Gold eased as the dollar edged up, with spot gold
down 0.52% at 1,914.56 per ounce.
(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai; Additional
reporting by Jessica DiNapoli in New York; editing by Jane
Wardell, Michael Perry and Kim Coghill)