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Asian stocks closed mixed in subdued trading on the lack of a lead from U.S. markets which were closed on Monday for a public holiday.
Japan's 109 regional banks collectively face about 5.4 billion yen ($47 million) in losses from financial products tied to U.S. subprime loans, according to a survey by the Nikkei business daily.
Asian markets were mixed Monday, as investors stayed cautious in spite of reassuring statements by U.S. President George W. Bush and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on sheltering the economy from the turmoil in the markets.
Japan's farm minister resigned on Monday over illegal dealings at a farmers' group he headed,public broadcaster NHK reported, dealing a fresh blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe just a week after he revamped his cabinet.
A few weeks ago, after writing a blog about the success Toyota has been enjoying, I was given a new nickname from a friend who is a retired Ford man who spent his career working in Detroit. He started calling me "Toyota Phil". The way he saw it, I've reported and blogged about Toyota's success so much, I must be the company's #1 fan.
Asian markets made solid gains Friday, ending the week firmly in positive territory as investors bet on a positive reaction to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech on monetary policy and housing in Jackson Hole, Wyo. at 11 am Singapore time.
Japan's jobless rate hit a 9-1/2-year low in July, but consumption remained soft and core consumer prices marked a sixth straight month of declines. Industrial production also fell in the month, but that was largely due to an earthquake on July 16, and output is forecast to jump in August.
Asian markets mostly finished higher Thursday, but were off their morning highs. Volumes were thin amid a dearth of strong incentives, with many market participants holding back ahead of a long weekend in the United States. Japan and South Korea both closed almost 1% higher.
The Bank of Japan policy board's lone advocate of a rate hike said on Thursday a cut in U.S. rates would change the basis of discussion, as central banks wonder how gyrating markets will affect the world economy.
Retail sales in Japan fell 2.2% in July from a year earlier for their biggest decline in more than two years, hit by a prolonged rainy season and an earthquake, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Thursday.
Asian stocks closed lower across the region Wednesday as investors shunned riskier assets on the renewed fears about the health of the U.S. economy. But markets were off their lows with South Korea closing just slightly in the red after plunging as much as 3% at one point during the session.
Asian stocks mixed Tuesday as fresh fears about the outlook for the U.S. economy offset healthy profits and orders at firms in the region, while the yen firmed as investors trimmed exposure to riskier assets.
Some Bank of Japan policy board members expressed concern in early July about the risks of U.S. subprime mortgage problems spilling over to global financial markets, minutes of the BOJ's July 11-12 meeting showed on Tuesday.
Asian stocks were stronger in the afternoon session Monday with markets taking cues from a Wall Street rally triggered by surprisingly strong economic data, while the Japanese yen weakened against the U.S. dollar as risk appetite strengthened.
The 2.3% rise in the Dow last week, coupled with lower volume and lower volatility, has given the markets what it wants mosts: time. Time allows market participants to readjust risk. JP Morgan, in a note to clients this morning, said "The key issue for the months ahead will be to figure out the impact of tighter credit conditions on economic growth."
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe picked veteran lawmakers for key posts in a reshuffled cabinet on Monday, but analysts questioned how much the changes would restore his popularity after last month's huge election defeat.
Asian stocks led by finance counters, were lower across the board in the afternoon session Friday, on concerns that problems in the U.S. housing and credit markets could push the world's biggest economy into recession. Australia, Japan and South Korea all closed down.
The Bank of Japan left its key policy rate unchanged for the sixth month running on Thursday, as expected in the wake of a global markets shake-out, with the focus now on how long it will delay its next hike.
Japan's trade surplus fell for the first time in nine months in July, prompting concerns about the outlook for the country's exports amid worries over a slowdown in the U.S. economy due to rising U.S. mortgage defaults.
Shares of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Macquarie Bank and other large banks in Asia tumbled on Wednesday, hit by renewed concern about their exposure to the high-risk U.S. subprime mortgage market and turmoil in global credit markets.