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In another volatile afternoon session, the Nikkei tumbled 3.8 percent to a new two-month low on Wednesday while the yen inched higher after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's third "Abenomics" arrow failed to impress investors.
Caution prevailed in Asian trade on Tuesday as investors grow concerned about the duration of global monetary stimulus ahead of Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke's testimony to the U.S Senate.
Bank of China has shut the account of North Korea's main foreign exchange bank, which was hit with U.S. sanctions in March.
Chinese executives at state-owned groups have long been among the lowest paid of their global peers, but even their apparently meager pay is generating controversy. The Financial Times reports.
Asian stock markets traded cautiously on Friday as investors digested a raft of regional corporate earnings and as attention turned to first-quarter U.S. GDP figures for signs of whether the rally on Wall Street can continue.
Chinese banks made $171 billion of new local currency loans in March, central bank data showed on Thursday, well above market expectations and adding to evidence of an economic recovery being fueled by ample credit.
Analysts say the sector remains robust even as China's biggest banks reported their worst annual earnings growth since going public.
Net profits at China's "big five" banks are expected to have risen nearly 12 percent to more than 750 billion yuan ($120.74 billion) in 2012, the official Shanghai Securities News reported on Thursday.
A group of Suntech Power lenders want the Chinese solar panel maker's main unit declared insolvent, a sign Beijing is losing support for the industry.
Asian stocks were under pressure on Wednesday as concerns rose if a bailout deal was still possible for Cyprus while Greater Chinese shares ignored the news to outperform the market as attention turned to domestic issues.
A move by China's Ping An Bank to ban its regional branches from approving mortgages may signal that Beijing is set to tighten controls on the property market to calm prices.
When Turkish conglomerate Anadolu Holding put its 75-percent stake in Alternatifbank up for sale last year, a distant potential suitor from Asia took a close look at the business.
Asian stock markets climbed higher on Thursday led by Australian shares, which hit a four-year high on strong corporate earnings. Risk sentiment was also boosted by firm gains in Japan and Hong Kong ahead of a weekend meeting of G20 central bank officials.
China's four largest banks extended 370 billion yuan ($59.4 billion) of new loans in January, up from 320 billion yuan in the same period last year, the official China Securities Journal reported on Tuesday.
Asian shares rose on Tuesday as recent selling drew bargain hunters ahead of more U.S. economic data and a Federal Reserve policy decision later in the week.
Asian shares ended mixed on Wednesday after rounds of profit taking from a sharp rally at the start of the new year subsided, while investors waited warily for corporate earnings season to kick off in full force.
Asian stocks drifted on Monday as investors booked profits from a New Year rally that had pushed markets to multi-month highs, but financial stocks gained after global regulators decided to relax draft plans for tough new bank liquidity rules.
A turnaround in China's bank earnings seen in the second half of last year is likely to continue into 2013 as the economy improves further, prompting analysts to turn bullish on the sector.
Asian shares closed higher on Wednesday in thin holiday trade despite a lack of fresh triggers. Japanese shares managed to outperform, hitting a 9-month high thanks to a weak yen.
Asian shares were mixed on Friday with a pick-up in China's manufacturing sector lending support but worries over the progress of U.S. budget talks to avert the "fiscal cliff" weighing on investor sentiment.