MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS eased 0.3 percent, heading for a fifth straight day of losses. Japans Nikkei index .N225 shed 0.6 percent, adding to a 2.4 percent slide on Monday, its first trading day of 2014. U.S. stocks slipped on Monday after a mixed batch of economic reports, resulting in the Standard and Poors 500 .SPX losing in the first three trading sessions of 2014 after ramping up 30 percent last year. SandP 500 E-mini futures gained 0.2 percent in Asian trade on Tuesday, indicating a firmer open on Wall Street later in the day, however. Financial bookmakers also expected UK , German and French equities to open steady to modestly higher on Tuesday. Data from the Institute for Supply Management showed the pace of growth in the U.S. services sector slowed for a second straight month in December with business activity expanding at a slower rate and new orders contracting. All eyes in the market will be on Fridays nonfarm payrolls data, which will provide new clues on how well the U.S. economy is recovering and how fast the Federal Reserve might unwind its stimulus program, which it began to taper last month, and how long it will keep its interest rates low. Against a basket of major currencies, the dollar .DXY added 0.1 percent, recouping some of the softness after the U.S. services data. We expect to see good interest to buy USD on dips heading into the jobs release," analysts at BNP Paribas wrote in a note. The euro was a tad softer at $1.36215 , having come off a four-week low of $1.35715 set in the previous session, while the greenback was up 0.3 percent at 104.53 yen , covering some of Mondays 0.6 percent decline. According to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission , currency speculators pared bets in favour of the dollar in the week ended December 31 to the lowest in about six weeks. andamp;lt;IMM/FXandamp;gt; Before Fridays jobs report, investors will focus on the minutes of the Feds December policy meeting, due out on Jan 8 , and the European Central Banks policy gathering on Thursday. Late on Monday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Janet Yellen , a key force behind the Feds unprecedented and controversial efforts to boost the U.S. economy, as the next Fed chair to succeed Ben Bernanke , whose second four-year term expires on January 31 . Among commodities, U.S. crude futures put on 0.2 percent to $93.62 a barrel after having fallen 0.6 percent overnight to a one-month low. Gold advanced 0.4 percent to $1,242.04 an ounce, heading for a sixth straight day of gains and sitting not far from a three-week high of $1,248.30 set on Monday. We have been rather surprised by golds resilience over the course of the last week, but suspect that its upside staying power will be limited," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said.
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