* Sterling rises for first time in five days
* European shares dip, following Asian bourses lower
* Minutes from Fed September meeting due later
* Oil prices edge up, dollar index dips
By Dhara Ranasinghe
LONDON, Oct 12 Shares dipped worldwide towards
three-week lows on Wednesday as a dour start to the U.S.
earnings season weighed on sentiment, while Britain's battered
currency rose for the first time in five days.
Sterling rose more than 1 percent versus the dollar and euro
after British Prime Minister Theresa May
offered to give lawmakers some scrutiny of the process of
leaving the European Union.
The currency has taken a beating, tumbling to 31-year lows
last week, on fears that Britain is heading for a "hard Brexit"
that would see it leave the EU's single market when it quits the
"After weeks of tough rhetoric pushing sterling into a
trading environment closer to an emerging market currency, the
government may aim to stabilise markets, with its rhetoric and
suggestions now possibly shifting in tone," Morgan Stanley's
head of currency strategy, Hans Redeker, said.
European shares followed Asian and U.S. markets lower, with
Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE
all nudging down in early trade.
Sweden's Ericsson led the region's technology
stocks down to a one month-low after issuing a profit warning.
That followed disappointing earnings reports from aluminum
producer Alcoa and diagnostics test maker Illumina
on Tuesday, casting a cloud over the start of earnings
season and knocking U.S. stocks lower overnight.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
fell to three-week lows, leaving shares
hovering near three-week lows touched on Tuesday.
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Markets' focus was turning to the minutes from the U.S.
Federal Reserve's September meeting, scheduled for release later
Investors are increasingly convinced the Fed will raise
interest rates in December while avoiding a hike at its next
meeting less than a week before the U.S. presidential election.
That speculation has pushed both the dollar and U.S. bond
yields higher in recent days. The 10-year Treasury yield
touched 1.783 percent on Wednesday, its highest
level since early June.
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.
"Current sentiment is such that markets will look at the
minutes for a reason not to expect a rate hike in December,"
Hermes group chief economist Neil Williams said.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a
basket of six major rivals, slipped 0.15 percent to 97.531
after rising to its highest since March at 97.758 on
Gold prices edged higher as the dollar retreated, and
oil rose, drawing support from record Indian crude imports and
upcoming talks between OPEC producers and other oil exporters on
curbing output to end a glut in the global market.
Brent crude futures were up 0.6 percent at $52.73 a
(Additional reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Anirban Nag
in London; Editing by Louise Ireland)