Shares shaky as rate-hike week looms

By Wayne Cole and Lawrence White

SYDNEY/LONDON (Reuters) - Shares slipped on Monday at the start of an agenda-setting week for markets in which likely interest rate hikes in Europe and the United States, as well as U.S. jobs and wage data will give markets a fresh update on the battle against inflation.

Investors expect the Federal Reserve will raise rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday, followed the day after by half-point hikes from the Bank of England and European Central Bank, and any deviation from that script would be a real shock.

Earnings from tech giants will also test the mettle of Wall Street bulls, who are looking to propel the Nasdaq to its best January since 2001.

Europe's benchmark STOXX index fell 0.5% on Monday morning, echoing a slight dip in MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, which has surged 11% in January so far as China's reopening bolsters its economy.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks were set to follow the nervous Monday mood with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures down nearly 1%, as investors await guidance later in the week on the Federal Reserve's policy.