DUBAI, United Arab Emirates— Dubai's developer Nakheel behind the famed man-made palm-shaped islands says it is repaying 7.9 billion dirhams, or roughly $2.1 billion, four years before the last installment is due. Nakheel says it will pay the $1.51 billion to 31 banks, of which almost $940 million will go to UAE banks and $570 million to overseas banks.» Read More
The Bank of Japan left its policy rate unchanged at 0.5 percent on Wednesday, as widely expected, reflecting caution among central bankers over market uncertainty and the economic fallout from U.S. subprime woes.
Unemployment in Japan rose to 4.0 percent last month, reinforcing expectations the Bank of Japan will delay its next rate rise, but household spending jumped.
Japanese retail sales rose unexpectedly in September from a year earlier, government data showed on Monday, suggesting consumer spending may be picking up in accordance with moderate improvement in workers' income conditions.
The Bank of Japan is seen cutting its growth and inflation forecasts and stressing more the downside risks, as markets push back still further into next year expectations of when the central bank will next increase rates.
Japanese core consumer prices fell from a year earlier in September, as expected, marking the eighth straight month of decline and doing little to change expectations that the Bank of Japan's monetary policy will be on hold for now.
China's annual gross domestic product growth eased to 11.5 percent in the third quarter, but the slowdown from a 12-year high of 11.9 percent in the second quarter was not enough to dispel expectations of fresh policy curbs to stave off overheating.
South Korea's economy grew less than expected in the third quarter as companies cut investment in facilities by the most in nearly seven years in the face of an increasingly uncertain global economy, data showed on Thursday.
New Zealand's central bank held interest rates steady at 8.25 percent on Thursday, as expected, but said rising food prices and increased government spending were adding to persistent inflation pressures.
Underlying inflation in Australia speeded past expectations last quarter to hit the very top of the central bank's target range, sharply lifting the risks of a hike in interest rates as early as next month.
Japanese exports to the United States fell in September from a year earlier at the fastest pace in four years but overall exports rose, pushing the trade surplus up to a record high.
China chalked up a trade surplus of $23.91 billion in September, the fourth-largest on record, giving more ammunition to foreign critics who say Beijing has an unfair edge in world markets by keeping the yuan undervalued.
Singapore's central bank unexpectedly moved to keep inflation in check by tightening its monetary policy and allowing the Singapore dollar to rise, amid signs that it is worried over rising prices. Separately, the economy grew a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.4% in the third quarter.
China and Japan have renewed a currency-swap agreement originally signed as part of the 2001 region-wide Chiang Mai agreement to head off a repeat of Asia's 1997/98 financial crisis.
Big Japanese firms grew more confident about business conditions in the current quarter, a government survey showed on Thursday, but softer capital spending plans dimmed the outlook of the economy.
The Bank of Japan kept interest rates unchanged as expected on Wednesday, hours after the U.S. central bank slashed rates by a hefty half-percentage point to try to shield the U.S. economy from a housing slump and market turmoil.
Asia's developing economies, the fastest growing nations in the world, will expand much more this year than previously expected, but a credit crunch in the West may take a toll in 2008, the Asian Development Bank said on Monday.
China raised interest rates Friday for the fifth time this year amid signs that repeated attempts to cool the sizzling economy so far have had little effect.
China kept up a fast investment tempo in August, government figures showed on Friday, making the case for further policy tightening to prevent economic growth and inflation from spinning out of control.
Indonesia's Sumatra island was pounded by aftershocks on Thursday after the world's most powerful earthquake so far this year killed at least six people and buried many more under buildings.
A powerful earthquake hit Indonesia on Wednesday, causing buildings to sway strongly in the capital, and authorities issued a tsunami warning for much of the Indian Ocean region.
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