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Machinery orders at Japanese firms fell more than expected in February from the previous month, data showed on Wednesday, but did little to change the view that the strength in corporate investment remains firm.
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Bank of Japan left monetary policy unchanged as widely expected on Tuesday, keeping the overnight call rate target at 0.50% for two months in a row after its rate hike in February.
Pentax is expected to scrap a planned share-swap merger with Hoya at a board meeting onTuesday, a senior company official said, raising speculation that Hoya may suspend its plan to make a tender offer for the camera and medical equipment maker.
Shares of Pentax jumped 7% after Hoya said it would make a tender offer for the Japanesecamera and medical equipment maker, but it remains unclear whether the bid will succeed with Pentax's board split and its president set to resign.
The Bank of Japan starts a two-day monetary policy meeting on Monday, with board members seen putting their heads together to prepare for an economic outlook report due later this month.
Rod Smyth, chief investment strategist for Wachovia Securities, told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that some overseas stocks offer greater growth prospects than their U.S. counterparts.“I think the most important thing that investors have to get their mind around is simply this: Is there going to be a recession in the next couple of years?” Smyth said Thursday. “We know the economy is slowing down. History tells us mid-cycle slowdowns are very good for stocks and that recessions are bad for stocks. If you can get your mind around the fact that we’re in a mid-cycle slowdown then you want to put money to work.”
Japanese companies are slightly less optimistic about business conditions than they were three months ago, the Bank of Japan's March tankan survey showed on Monday.
HSBC Holdings is set to launch retail banking operations in Japan early next year and plans to open as many as 50 branches within four years, the Financial Times reported on Friday.
Japanese nationwide core consumer prices edged down as expected in February from a year ago, the first fall in 10 months, reinforcing the view that a lack of inflation will keep the pace of the BOJ's credit tightening slow.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange said on Tuesday that Atsushi Saito, former president of the Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan, the state-backed corporate turnaround body, will be its next president.
General Electric said on Friday it would launch a $1.14 billion tender offer for Sanyo Electric Credit, a Japanese leasing company whose main shareholder is Goldman Sachs Group.
Mazda Motor gained on Friday after the Japanese automaker unveiled a new business plan aimed at boosting its operating profit by more than 27% in four years through further product-led growth and accelerated cost cuts.
Japan's Hitachi said on Thursday it would close a parts factory in Mexico and cut 4,500 jobs as it aims to shave $300 million in costs in its loss-making hard disk drive business over the next five years.
Japan's trade surplus rose 7.7% in February from a year earlier to 979.6 billion yen ($8.34 billion), government data showed on Thursday.
Big Japanese manufacturers were less confident about business conditions in the three months to March, a government survey showed on Thursday, prompting concern about the continuing strength of the current economic recovery.
David Bianco, U.S. Equities Strategist for UBS, told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the S&P 500 offers investors a solid play on the strong global economy.“The S&P 500 has material exposure to the global economy,” Bianco said Wednesday. “I’m often reminding clients that the global economy and business spending are more important to S&P 500 earnings than consumer discretionary spending.”He likes consumer staples such as Coca-Cola and Proctor & Gamble, but said he’s over-weighted in industrials, technology and energy stocks, especially oil field services.
Mizuho Financial Group, Japan's second-biggest bank, cut its annual profit forecast by a quarter to $4.6 billion on Tuesday after a major borrower fell into financial trouble.
The Bank of Japan kept interest rates unchanged Tuesday as widely expected by markets, and analysts will scrutinize the central bank governor's remarks at a news conference later in the day for clues on the timing of the next rate rise.
Honda Motor said on Tuesday it would recall about 166,000 vehicles in the U.S. of the Accord, Odyssey and five other models to fix a faulty component in the fuel pump.