TOKYO, Aug 13- A sales tax hike last quarter drove Japan's economy into its biggest contraction since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Cabinet Office data showed on Wednesday, keeping policymakers under pressure to expand fiscal and monetary stimulus should recovery falter again.» Read More
While the world has fallen out of love with the Japanese economy in recent years it remains an economic powerhouse and important to the global economy, Sean Corrigan, chief investment strategist at Diapason Commodities Management, said Monday.
Japan's Nikkei average tumbled over 5 percent at one point on Monday as investors shifted to safer assets following after Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami, with the long-term impact uncertain as nuclear disaster looms.
Japan faces earthquake aftermath and nuclear emergency, Gaddafi wins gains against rebels, and the Rajaratnam trial continues.
Japanese investment bank Nomura is predicting the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that occurred off the northeastern coast of Japan on Friday will hit Japanese growth in the second quarter and predicts reconstruction efforts will not boost growth as much as some are predicting in the second half of 2011.
The unfolding crisis at the two reactors, both at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, feeds into a resurgence of doubts about nuclear energy’s safety — even as it has gained credence as a source of clean energy, the New York Times reports.
A partial meltdown was likely under way at a second nuclear reactor, a top Japanese official said Sunday, as authorities frantically tried to prevent a similar threat from nearby unit following a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.
The central problem in assessing the degree of danger is that the amounts of various radioactive releases into the environment are now unknown, the New York Times reports.
While commodity and currency markets took the biggest immediate hit from Friday's earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the damage will be felt throughout the world's economy and the US.
Carnival's first-quarter earnings will fall short of Wall Street expectations and the cruise operator is cutting its full-year earnings outlook. The Miami company blamed rising fuel prices and some itinerary changes in the Middle East and North Africa for the reduction to its 2011 guidance.