*Hopes for U.S. economic recovery, softer yen seen lifting index. *Market expects rising corporate profits. TOKYO, Dec 12- A weaker yen is forecast to help boost corporate earnings and drive Japan's Nikkei to double-digit gains next year, a Reuters poll found on Thursday.» Read More
Planned U.S. layoffs fell 12 percent in October on a reduction in the number of announced firings in the financial and housing-related sectors, an independent report showed Wednesday.
China unexpectedly raised domestic gasoline and diesel prices by a tenth on Thursday, the first increase in 17 months, as officials rushed to tame a worsening supply crisis by easing losses at state refiners.
Australian retail sales easily outpaced expectations in September, setting the seal on a very strong quarter for consumption and adding to an already compelling case for a further rise ininterest rates.
The Federal Reserve, moving to head off the threat of a recession, cut two key interest rates by a quarter-point but signaled that it may be done easing rates for now.
The U.S. economy grew at a surprisingly brisk clip in the third quarter as both consumer spending and exports showed strength despite a battered housing sector.
The statement released by the Federal Open Market Committee after its October 30 & 31 meeting on interest rate policy.
Wal-Mart Stores said Wednesday it will begin offering this week the type of holiday discounts it typically reserves for "Black Friday" -- the day after Thanksgiving that typically marks the start of the ultra-competitive holiday shopping season.
The Federal Reserve is still expected to lower benchmark borrowing costs later today despite unexpected signs of strength in the economy.
A surge in euro zone inflation in October beat all expectations, data showed, raising the odds for a rise in European Central Bank interest rates despite weakening sentiment and sending the euro up against the dollar.
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.
Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings said on Wednesday it will raise the prices of beer for the first time in more than 17 years starting in February, citing a sharp rise in aluminum and malt prices.
Australian businesses were busy borrowing in September despite interest rates at decade highs, while a jump in approvals to build new homes provided a tentative sign of a recovery in housing construction.
Fed policy-makers began meeting as financial markets continued to bet that the central bank will cut interest rates to shore up the faltering housing and credit markets.
U.S. consumer confidence declined for the third month in a row in October to its lowest level in two years on growing concerns about weakening business conditions and the impact that could have on the job market.
The United States is strongly committed to a strong U.S. dollar and financial markets there are recovering from the subprime loan crisis even if the housing market has yet to touch bottom, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on Tuesday.
The Federal Reserve is expected to lower interest rates again this week as insurance against the threat that declining home prices and higher borrowing costs will push the economy into recession.
A Federal Reserve interest rate cut this week is no sure thing and officials are not seriously considering a half-point reduction in overnight rates, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday without citing sources.
China must continue to liberalize its exchange rate regime and key areas of the economy to ward off overheating but should be cautious about opening strategic sectors to foreign investment, a top official said on Tuesday.
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.