TOKYO, May 25- Asian shares got off to a lackluster start on Monday, after rising inflation and a hawkish tone from the U.S. Activity was likely to be thin this session, as UK and U.S. markets are shut on Monday for the Spring Bank Holiday and Memorial Day respectively. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down about 0.1 percent in early trade.» Read More
The yen rose against the dollar and higher-yielding currencies for a second day, with investors shying away from risky assets amid deepening concerns over the credit turmoil and tightening liquidity.
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Janet Yellen said on Monday that worsening financial conditions and weaker-than-expected economic data have raised downside risks to the economic outlook.
Financial market anxiety has rebounded and the process of rebuilding confidence will be "long and slow," a top U.S. Treasury official said on Tuesday.
The world is eating more than it produces and food prices may climb for years because of expansion of farming for fuel and climate change, risking social unrest, an expert and a new report said on Tuesday.
Australian retail sales rose less than forecast in October as consumers cut back on household goods purchases after months of heavy spending, reinforcing expectations the central bank will keep rates on hold this week.
The yen gained broadly Monday as investors cut exposure to risky carry trades amid expectations of widening financial sector losses tied to the U.S. subprime mortgage market.
Growth in U.S. factory activity slipped in November for the fifth straight month as tight credit conditions and the housing downturn restrained production, according to an industry report released Monday.
The Federal Reserve will cut interest rates by a full percentage point before June to help the housing market, Citigroup's chief economist, Lewis Alexander, said.
Australian inflation accelerated further above the central bank's comfort zone in November as petrol prices climbed, a private survey showed on Monday, suggesting interest rates might yet have to rise further.
The dollar surged against a basket of major currencies Friday and was on track for its biggest weekly gain in more than a year on profit-taking in the euro and month-end squaring up of positions by corporates.
The U.S. Treasury Department and mortgage industry leaders are putting the final touches on a plan that could save struggling homeowners from foreclosure by freezing interest rates before they reset sharply higher.
Economists say the Fed is almost certain to lower interest rates Dec. 11, but key economic data in the week to come will determine if its a quarter point or half a point.
The U.S. economy is continuing to show weakness in everything from personal spending and income to construction spending, according to several reports out Friday
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Thursday a resurgence in financial strains in recent weeks had dimmed the outlook for the U.S. economy, signaling an openness to lowering interest rates again.
Euro zone inflation jumped more than expected in November to its highest in six and a half years and inflation expectations rose while economic sentiment worsened, highlighting the European Central Bank's rate dilemma.
German retail sales posted their steepest decline in October since a value-added tax increase sent them plunging at the start of the year, in a sign that consumers are increasingly worried about higher energy and food prices.
Higher energy and food prices saw Japan's core consumer prices record their first annual rise in 10 months in October, but the modest 0.1 percent gain only slightly boosted expectations of a rate hike early next year.
The dollar rallied against most major currencies Thursday, buoyed by demand from U.S. corporations seeking to square their books by the end of the month.
Softer-than-expected new-home sales and a surge in jobless claims heightened fears of a steep U.S. economic slide.
The White House lowered its U.S. economic growth forecast for 2008 Thursday because of trouble in the housing and credit markets, but said the economy remained resilient and a six-year expansion would continue