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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.
Stocks closed higher following a late rally in telecom and energy as investors took surging crude-oil prices in stride. "I'm thinking the next move is to the upside again," James Paulsen, chief investment strategist with Wells Capital Management, told CNBC.
The dollar rose against the yen on Thursday, reversing the prior day's losses, after data revision showed the U.S. economy grew at a faster pace in the fourth quarter of 2007 than initially reported.
Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Gary Stern said the economy is "anything but fragile" and that the worst of the housing market crunch might be over.
Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker said on Thursday it was hard to know when restricting access to credit to protect some borrowers was worth choking off credit to others.
U.S. economic growth was moderately stronger in the fourth quarter than previously thought, primarily because businesses added more to inventories than was estimated a month ago, the Commerce Department reported on Thursday.
Stocks are shaking off the Bernanke blues and look set to join European stock markets in a move higher this morning. The market took a dive yesterday when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reminded investors the economy is slowing, the Fed fights inflation, the housing market is uncertain, and oh yeah, he never really said he was going to cut rates.
Stocks closed sharply lower after being down all day on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's remarks that "economic uncertainty" has increased. "The market has these little flips up and down but it's been quiet and down all day long," said Mike Driscoll, head of listed trading at Bear Stearns
Testimony by the two top U.S. economic officials on Wednesday raised fresh concerns in financial markets about the deteriorating housing market, despite their view that subprime mortgage problems are "contained."
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday that housing market turmoil has clouded the outlook for the U.S. economy but that the central bank remains focused on ensuring core inflation moves lower. "Our policy is still oriented toward control of inflation, which we consider to be at this time to be the greater risk," he said in response to lawmakers' questions.
The dollar extended losses against the yen on Wednesday, in line with the U.S. stock market's broad weakness, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said U.S. economic uncertainty has increased.
New orders for U.S.-made durable goods rose a smaller-than-expected 2.5% in February and excluding volatile transportation orders were down for the fourth time in the last five months, a government report on Wednesday showed.
Stocks are under pressure ahead of the opening as the influence of jittery oil markets adds to the week's mounting worries about the state of U.S. housing and its potential impact on the economy. Stock futures look sharply lower, and the dollar dipped after reports of weaker than expected durable goods orders.
South Korea's current account swung to the second-biggest surplus in 16 months in February from a deficit in January, central bank data showed on Wednesday, providing a potential boost to the won.
Stocks closed lower after a new warning from the housing industry kept buyers out of the market. "Even though we may test the lows just because some short-term investors may get out of the way, this market has been really good shape," said Richard Steinberg, president and chief investment officer at Steinberg Global Asset Management. "If we pull back, investors should be reassessing their portfolios and looking to pick up bargains."
U.S. consumer confidence slipped further than expected in March as rising gas prices and recent turmoil in financial markets exacerbated worries about the immediate future, a survey showed on Tuesday
The dollar fell against the euro and the yen on Tuesday after a report showed U.S. consumer confidence slipped in March.
Stocks show signs of weakness ahead of the open today after yesterday's disappointing real-estate data snuffed out the Dow's five-day winning streak. Asian markets were lower overnight, and Europe's major markets are mostly higher.
German business sentiment unexpectedly rose in March, with the mood improving in the retail sector as the impact of a new year's sales tax hike appeared to fade, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday.
Despite concern over the U.S. economy, European finance ministers stuck to forecasts of solid economic growth in their part of the world this year as a second day of policy talks got underway in Brussels on Tuesday.