* Dismal earnings from Alcoa and Illumina hit Wall St
* US 10-year bond yield near 4-month high on Fed, inflation
* Dollar rises to 7-month high
* Pound bounces back from low in volatile trade
* European shares seen steady to slightly higher
By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO, Oct 12 Asian shares hit three-week lows
on Wednesday after a dour start to Wall Street's earnings season
knocked U.S. stocks, while the dollar and Treasury yields were
at multi-month highs on growing expectations of a U.S. interest
rate hike in December.
The British pound jumped back from lows in a volatile
trading session, though concerns about a damaging "hard Brexit"
are likely to keep the currency under pressure.
European shares were expected to be steady to slightly
higher, with spread-betters looking for a rise of 0.2 percent in
Germany's DAX, a 0.1 percent gain in France's CAC
and a flat opening in Britain's FTSE.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
fell 0.4 percent, while Japan's Nikkei futures
slipped 0.9 percent.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 Index fell 1.2 percent to
a near one-month low, and dipped below its 100-day moving
average - seen as a major support - for the first time since
Shares of aluminium producer Alcoa tumbled 11.4
percent and diagnostics test maker Illumina plummeted
24.8 percent following their disappointing earnings, casting a
pall over the market.
Also undermining risk sentiment were rises in global bond
"Rising bond yields will be a major market theme in coming
three months or so. For one, there's speculation that central
banks in both Europe and Japan could start tapering," said
Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset
"Inflation expectations are rising because of oil and U.S.
wage growth. We don't expect oil prices to hit $80 or $90, but
even if they stay around $50, that's about 10 percent above
their levels last year, thus putting inflationary pressure."
Investors are growingly convinced that the U.S. Federal
Reserve will raise interest rates in December while avoiding a
hike at its next meeting less than a week before the U.S.
The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield rose to 1.781
percent on Tuesday, its highest level since early June, and last
stood at 1.778 percent.
U.S. interest rate futures <0#FF:> are pricing in about a 75
percent chance of a rate hike by December, little changed over
the past couple of days.
"The markets had relied on expectations of monetary stimulus
for a long time but that is changing with bond yields rising
around the world. You have rising interest rates and falling
EPS. That's obviously bad for stocks," said Norihiro Fujito,
senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley
The spectre of rising U.S. interest rates helped to lift the
dollar's index against a basket of six major currencies
to its highest in seven months.
The index stood at 97.644, after having risen to as high as
97.758 on Tuesday, climbing above its July peak of 97.569.
The euro dipped to a two-month low of $1.1032.
The Chinese yuan continued to wobble as the dollar firmed,
slipping to a fresh six-year low of 6.7230 in early onshore
trade before recouping losses.
The yen was little changed at 103.63 to the dollar.
The British pound jumped 1.2 percent in thin Asian trade to
$1.2272, after having fallen nearly 5 percent in the previous
Some market players suspected sterling benefited from a
report by Bloomberg that British Prime Minister Theresa May has
accepted that Parliament should be allowed to vote on her plan
for taking Britain out of the European Union.
"The pound is being bought back after its big falls. But
given that Brexit will remain a major theme for the markets, its
likely to be capped," said Shinichiro Kadota, chief currency
strategist at Barclays Securities Japan.
Oil prices inched up to stay near one-year highs hit earlier
this week, with investors waiting for talks between OPEC
producers and other oil exporters on curbing output to end a
glut in the global market.
Brent crude futures traded in Asia at $52.66 per
barrel, up 25 cents or 0.5 percent, edging closer to Monday's
high of $53.73.
(Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Kim Coghill)