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Asia Top News and Analysis Japan

  • CHICAGO-- In a modest milestone for President Barack Obama's high-speed rail vision, test runs will start zooming along a small section of the Amtrak line between Chicago and St. Louis at 110 mph Friday. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Illinois Gov.

  • Microsoft also disappointed with its latest update, contributing to a broad retreat in technology stocks, as did McDonald's and General Electric. By the time markets closed in Europe, Germany's DAX was down 0.8 percent at 7,380 while the CAC-40 in France fell 0.9 percent to 3,504. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.3 percent lower at 5,896..

  • MUMBAI, India-- Starbucks inaugurated its first store in India Friday in a historic building in southern Mumbai as the Seattle- based coffee giant seeks growth in a market long associated with tea drinkers. After over six years of studying the local market, Starbucks is making a rapid-fire entry into Asia's third-largest economy.

  • TOKYO-- Sony Corp. says it plans to close a factory in central Japan, tweaking its restructuring plan by cutting 2,000 jobs from its workforce in moves expected to save it $385 million. Sony said Friday that those functions would be transferred to other factories.

  • Britain's FTSE 100 lost 0.1 percent to 5,910.04 in early trading. Microsoft said net income fell a worse-than-expected 22 percent to $4.47 billion in the fiscal first quarter, which ended Sept. 30. BB&T bank, Philip Morris International and Boston Scientific also reported results that fell short of forecasts.

  • Does the Yen’s Pullback Take the Heat Off Bank of Japan?

    Just a month ago traders were on high alert for intervention from Japan to weaken its surging currency. Now that the yen is falling against the dollar, the pressure on Japan to take action has eased, but not for long, said analysts.

  • Markets in mainland China, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and India were down. Microsoft said net income fell a worse-than-expected 22 percent to $4.47 billion in the fiscal first quarter, which ended Sept. 30. Microsoft shares fell in after-hours trading.

  • European Union leaders opened a two-day meeting in Brussels on Thursday and took a critical step by agreeing to create a banking supervisor to oversee institutions in the 17 countries using the euro. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.9 percent to 1,942.47 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.1 percent to 4,554.50.

  • TROY, Mich.-- Chemical giant DuPont Co. is opening an innovation center in suburban Detroit that's aimed at speeding the introduction of new products for the automotive industry. It is DuPont's eighth-such center and is located at its Automotive Development Center in Troy.

  • Though expectations have diminished in recent days that the 27- nation EU will agree on the terms of a banking union, investors are keen to hear updates on the economic fate of Spain, as well as Greece, which appears to be near to securing its next batch of bailout cash.

  • BAGHDAD-- Iraqi authorities have issued arrest warrants for the longtime governor of the central bank following allegations of financial wrongdoing, the country's judiciary said Thursday. Supreme Judicial Council spokesman Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar told The Associated Press that 15 bank officials are being sought along with al-Shabibi.

  • RICHMOND, Va.-- Cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc.' s third-quarter net income fell more than 6 percent, despite higher prices, as the company sold fewer cigarettes. Philip Morris International said it earned $2.23 billion, or $1.32 per share, in the third quarter, down from $2.38 billion, or $1.35 per share, a year ago.

  • LONDON-- Markets were largely steady Thursday, after solid gains this week, on signs that China's economy is not slowing as quickly as feared, the U.S. is recovering and Spain will soon request a bailout.

  • BANGKOK-- Stock markets rose Thursday after an unexpectedly strong U.S. housing report renewed confidence in the world's biggest economy and the latest data from China suggested the worst of its slump is over.

  • KASHAGAN OILFIELD, Kazakhstan-- The manmade islands that are home to Kazakhstan's mammoth Kashagan oilfield project rise like a mirage to the boats churning through the shallow waters of the Caspian Sea. When surveyors confirmed in 2000 that Kazakhstan had a new supergiant oil reserve, the world's energy companies reacted with glee.

  • BANGKOK-- Asian stock markets rose Thursday after an unexpectedly strong U.S. housing report renewed confidence in the world's biggest economy and the latest data from China suggested the worst of its slump is over.

  • BEIJING-- China's economic growth tumbled to the lowest in more than three years in the latest quarter but retail sales and other activity accelerated in a sign a recovery from the painful downturn is taking shape.

  • BANGKOK-- Asian stock markets rose Thursday after an unexpectedly strong U.S. housing report renewed confidence in the world's biggest economy and enabled investors to overlook slower growth in China. The U.S. Commerce Department said builders started construction on new single-family houses and apartments at the fastest pace in more than four years.

  • The Effects of Worsening Japan-China Ties

    David Mann, Regional Head of Research, Americas, Standard Chartered Bank says Japan has more to lose from worsening ties with China. He adds Japan could face restrictions on its trade relations with China.

  • China-Japan Ties to Weigh on Business Sentiment

    Robin Bew, Chief Economist, The Economist Intelligence Unit shares his observations on China's economy. He adds that heightened tensions between China and Japan will weigh on corporates in both countries.