* MSCI Asia ex-Japan index down 0.9 pct
* Euro Stoxx 50 index futures down 0.8 pct, FTSE 100 seen
off 0.5 pct
* Brent crude falls to $111.30 a barrel
* Euro falls 0.4 pct to $1.2985, dollar index up 0.3 pct
By Alex Richardson
SINGAPORE, Oct 8 Asian stocks and other riskier
assets such as commodities fell on Monday as the World Bank cut
its growth forecasts for East Asia, underlining concerns over
the global economic outlook, and caution set in about the coming
corporate earnings season.
European index futures also slipped, leaving markets there
poised to give up some of last week's gains.
Wall Street stocks dipped late on Friday as an unexpected
drop in the U.S. unemployment rate was overshadowed by worries
about the earnings season, which kicks off with Alcoa Inc
on Tuesday, and S&P 500 futures traded in Asia eased on
"It (the jobs number) looks good if you were worried about
an imminent collapse back into recession or if you had performed
badly in a presidential debate," said Russell Jones, global
interest rates strategist at Westpac bank in Sydney, in a note.
"But the reality is that it remains consistent with a U.S.
economy growing around or a little below trend, no more."
S&P 500 earnings for the third quarter are forecast to have
fallen 2.4 percent from the year-earlier period, which would be
the first decline in three years, according to Thomson Reuters
MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan
fell 0.9 percent. Japanese financial markets
were closed for a public holiday. Euro STOXX 50 index
futures opened down 0.8 percent, while financial bookmakers
called London's FTSE 100 down around 0.5 percent.
CENTRAL BANK SUPPORT
Equity markets have broadly been rallying since hitting a
nadir for the year in early June. They received a renewed burst
of impetus last month when major central banks rolled out fresh
measures to support fragile economies.
MSCI's Asia Pacific ex-Japan and All Countries World Indexes
are both up around 13 percent year-to-date.
But with the euro zone back in recession amid a still
unresolved debt crisis and the U.S. recovery far from secure,
investors remain reluctant to chase growth-sensitive riskier
assets too aggressively.
"We've arrived at one of the sorts of levels where the
market needs to see a bit more evidence of a medium-term outlook
before it takes prices much beyond current levels," said Ric
Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.
A private sector survey showing a rebound in China's
services sector in September after its growth hit a one-year low
in August had little immediate impact on markets.
The euro fell about 0.4 percent to below $1.2985,
which helped the dollar advance 0.3 percent against a basket of
Euro zone finance ministers were meeting on Monday to
formally launch the region's permanent bailout fund, with market
attention focused on whether and when Spain will request
external aid as it struggles to recapitalise its banks.
Traders and analysts say the euro could get a boost if Spain
makes such a request as that would open the way for the European
Central Bank to buy Spanish debt to help bring down Madrid's
WORLD BANK CUTS ASIA OUTLOOK
Underlining the uncertain outlook for the global economy,
the World Bank cut its growth forecasts for the East Asia and
Pacific region and said there was a risk the slowdown in China
could get worse and last longer than expected.
"Unlike the rest of the region, China is experiencing a
double whammy - the growth slowdown is driven by weaker exports
as well as domestic demand, in particular investment growth,"
World Bank Chief Economist for East Asia and the Pacific Bert
Hofman said at a briefing in Singapore.
China, the engine of global growth in recent years and a key
consumer of commodities, is due to release at the end of next
week its growth data for the third quarter, which analysts
expect to be the weakest three months of the year.
The World Bank expects China's GDP growth for 2012 as a
whole to come in at 7.7 percent, which would be its lowest in
more than a decade.
Oil fell, with Brent crude off around 70 cents at
about $111.30 a barrel and U.S. crude down around 80
cents below $89.10.
"Oil is still finely balanced," said Michael Creed, an
economist at National Australia Bank.
"On one hand, we still have a slowing economy and what that
means for oil demand. On the other hand, there is oil supply
risk at the moment."
Copper, also dependent on industrial demand, dropped
1.5 percent to around $8,175 a tonne.
Gold lost 0.6 percent to about $1,770 an ounce.